TAKE on art - Issue 09, 2012
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Yves Klein in 1959 famously ideated a work called Zone of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility where he sold empty space, an immaterial zone in the form of a certificate in exchange for gold; provided that the man who bought the certificate proceeded to burn it in front of the artist and other witnesses, making this purchase entirely ‘immaterial’. What drove Dino Buzzati and others who went along with this ritual, and paid for it in gold? Why would anyone acquire a work of art without ever being able to entirely posses it? Art makes a commodity and market out of something that has very little material value and at the same time is deemed priceless, which makes it almost impossible to formulaically predict the way the system functions. Yet Yves Klein was able to assume a buyer, a figure that was almost entirely necessary for this work to even come to exist, even as pure idea, and participate in completing it. While cynics would love to relegate collecting art to an investment like any other, driven by capital, what they often do not take into account is that this capital often contributes as much as it profits from the myth-making capacity of the art market. What we attempt to unravel here is the art of collecting, one that feeds and is sustained by the art world.
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