Contesting Art History

Creator: 
Hervé Courtain
Performer: 
Hervé Courtain
Producer: 
Hervé Courtain
Occurence: 
Documents: 

double page avec notes manuscrites, photocopie de "La Danse" de Matisse et photocopie d'un parchemin tiré des Béatitudes, œuvre du XIIème siècle

Type: 
Manuscrit
Technique description référence: 
double page avec notes manuscrites, photocopie de "La Danse" de Matisse et photocopie d'un parchemin tiré des Béatitudes, œuvre du XIIème siècle
COURTA
double page du cahier « Travaux pratique N° 2 » avec notes manuscrites, photocopie de "La Danse" de Matisse et photocopie d'un parchemin tiré des Béatitudes, œuvre du XIIème siècle
Hervé Courtain | trace de la performance "Contestation de l'histoire de l'art", 2002 | double page du cahier « Travaux pratique N° 2 » avec notes manuscrites, photocopie de "La Danse" de Matisse et photocopie d'un parchemin tiré des Béatitudes, œuvre du XIIème siècle | © Hervé Courtain | courtesy de l'artiste
Description: 
I tried to introduce in Catherine Macchi’s art history class for adults a certain distance and a critical opinion of art history as our society has elaborated it. I tried to re-qualify adults that were being treated like children, or to keep in check an adult talking to other adults as if they were children supposed to adopt the dogma faithfully.

During class I passed around a 12th century document to compare it with Matisse’s “Dance”.

In the studios of the EMAP (City School for the Visual Arts), a student posing nude in a corner, a still life, a landscape, a sculpture, a cutout or even an empty canvas, will always interest someone, who will wonder who did that, and say whether he or she likes it or not etc. But an unannounced anonymous performance goes totally unnoticed no matter how many people are present.

This action is similar to another action performed during a group visit by Catherine Macchi at the Villa Arson. I signed a circle of light coming from outside, that was making a perfect hole in Mark Lewis's work Champs d’éoliennes (Field of Wind Turbines) shown on a big screen. I stuck a small label “Hervé Courtain light circle on December 9, 2001 at 3:23 PM” in front of the group and Catherine Macchi, who saw in this only the whim of an opportunistic spirit. The label remained several months after the end of Mark Lewis's exhibition.(Appropriation – restitution)