[artinfo] pourinfos.org [apostils] : The artist and his “models”. |Jean-Claude Moineau|

xavier cahen cahen.x at levels9.com
Thu Apr 27 11:46:39 CEST 2006

[apostils] [apostils] [apostils] [apostils] [apostils] [apostils] [apostils]

The artist and his “models”
By Jean-Claude Moineau

html version

Facing the crisis that not only political art or critical art, (two 
totally different concepts), but contemporary art itself are 
experiencing, (knowing that “the state” of crisis has always been the 
“normal” state of art, that art has always been in a permanent state of 
crisis, a crisis that has recently increased, even accelerated), some 
people intend to go back to the old polemic (relevant to the various 
avant-gardes) between documentary-art, or rather, documentary form that 
inspired Kassel’s last Documenta. What art couldn’t do, documentary, or 
rather, documentary art, could. As if the so-called “objectivity” or the 
so-called “transparency” of the document were not suspect, as much as 
the good old notion of aesthetic experience, here and now, 
non-mediatized, that most detractors of the document form such as 
Nicolas Bourriaud in the catalogue of the last Biennale de Lyon [1], 
cling to.

That context created at the time of Documents, Georges Bataille’s 
review, the extra artistic reference to science, and especially to 
anthropology, the search for extra artistic models through art, 
especially for the anthropological model, or rather the “anthropological 
paradigm”, even though the notion of paradigm has something too 
exclusive to be used without care (which, according to S. Kuhn 
[2]himself, would be abusive). The two following articles also aim in 
that direction.

The first article, Artist as anthroplogist [3], was written in 1974 by 
the neo avant-garde conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth,. The piece is 
really not clear, like most artists writings, especially conceptual 
artists. It intends to establish a break (in a quasi-Althusser sense) 
between an “anthropologized art” and the “forms” preceding it what he 
calls “naive”, relating to artistic activity including the forms of 
earlier conceptual art. According to Kosuth, earlier art was based on 
what he called a “scientific paradigm”, and was related to scientism, 
when, on the contrary, anthropologized art would break from this paradigm.

Kosuth believes that the anthropologist is a man of science, and 
therefore positioned himself outside of the culture he’s studying; he 
calls this attitude “un-committed”. But the artist as an anthropologist 
operates inside his own socio-cultural context and finds himself totally 
submerged (Kosuth doesn’t see the de-contextualizing character which is 
that of the museum within which, as an neo avant-garde artist, he 
continues to mingle), the artist as an anthropologist is an artist that 
Kosuth would consider “committed” (with the intentional character this 
implies), but will not use political discourses or bring any aesthetics 
in the political action as the “protest artist” will.

Kosuth believes that while the anthropologist tries to understand other 
cultures, the artist, on the contrary, “interiorizes” his own 
socio-cultural activity. Therefore, the artist as an anthropologist is 
able to accomplish what the anthropologist has always failed to do. For 
Kosuth, this paradoxically implies the superiority of the artist as an 
anthropologist over the anthropologist, his “model”.

The second article is written by the American critic, Hal Foster. The 
author is both the theoretician of what he calls the neo avant-garde 
second generation (Daniel Buren, Michael Asher…) who tries to carry on 
the criticism of artistic institution from the inside, and the road 
companion of what he calls, at the time, radical Post Modernism - 
represented by Pictures Artists around Douglas Crimp and Rosalind Krauss 
- by opposition to the trans-avant-garde and other artists representing 
what Raymonde Moulin called art for the 80’s Market. The article is 
called The artist as an ethnographer or does the “end of history” mean 
the return to anthropology?[4]. One will notice that the title of the 
article refers to the Post-Modernist crisis of history - ancient 
continuity history as well as dis-continuity, “structuralism” history, 
or even still history - to the temptation of what was then a 
post-history. History is opposed, not like in Michel Foucault’s, 
whatever his dues to “new-history” are, but to archeology - even though 
an archeological paradigm appeared in recent art (or rather, a candidate 
to the title of paradigm), but to anthropology, in reproducing entirely 
the opposition prevailing in the 60’s between history and structure, as 
Foster intends in his demonstrations to show an anthropology that would 
no longer be only Claude Lévi-Strauss’s structural anthropology. In his 
text, Foster does not praise anthropology or even less so, the artist as 
an anthropologist or as an ethnographer, but intends to have a truly 
critical view, both on anthropology (with the internal debates inside 
the anthropology field, that he calls an auto-criticism practice from 
anthropology, in a somehow modernist fashion; auto-criticism that, 
according to him, could have contributed to make it appealing to the 
artists’ eyes that have adopted the artist as anthropologist paradigm), 
and on the artist as an anthropologist. I will not only use Foster’s 
article as my own - as inescapable as could it be - but I will attempt 
to make a critical reading of it.

The title of the article is, of course, modeled over Walter Benjamin’s 
L’Artiste comme producteur [5]. In this text, Benjamin sustains that the 
artist who “shows solidarity with the proletariat” - according to the 
terms used then - wouldn’t only spread “a politically-right content” – 
when possible - but must be “artistically right”. “Before asking myself: 
what is the position of a work of art in relation with the means 
production at that time, I would like to ask: what is its place within 
these same means? This question directly aims at the function of the 
“oeuvre” within the literary production means (or broadly artistic 
means) of the works of art. In other words, it directly aims at the 
literary (or artistic) technique of a work of art”.

No Economism in this, since, according to Benjamin, art is not only 
super-structural unlike orthodox Marxism, but includes what Benjamin 
calls literary or artistic production links (even though Benjamin avoids 
technical determinism, whatever dialectical links are being maintained 
by “the technical production forces” - non specifically artistic - and 
“the artistic production means”).

What Hal Foster interprets in a totally contestable manner from the 
Productivist conception as it was defended by USSR right after the 
revolution launched by the Constructivists, who became later the 
Productivists, is a conception based on the idea that the avant-garde 
artist (both in an artistic and in a political sense, that are 
inseparable anyway) cannot limit himself “to back up the proletariat”, 
but must become himself a proletarian, must assimilate into a producer 
in the strong sense of the word and must resolve the artist/producer 
contradiction. Productivism generally brought back this conception to 
the engineer/artist conception; the Dadaist Raoul Hausmann and his then 
companion, Hannah Höch would make a point in reproaching the 
Productivist conception to carry on praising “expertise” - here again, 
in all senses of the word – and would oppose to it the conception of the 
artist as an assembler who only puts pieces recuperated in the 
industrial production together, without trying to reconcile them in 
anyway, therefore without being concerned with how they are joined 
together (that conception was generalized later on by Ernst Bloch [6], 
without the proletarian reference).

At the same time, Foster allows himself to rediscover – totally out of 
context, in my opinion – some remains of “Productivism paradigm” in the 
sculptural action as re-understood – enlarged – in the 60’s by a Richard 
Serra, and of the notion of “textual production” championed by Tel Quel 
during the same period.

Foster starts then to relate criticisms held against the productivism 
paradigm happening at the same time, mainly, he says, from Jean 
Baudrillard, even if Beaudrillard’s criticism was not aimed at 
Productivism, but rather at Fonctionalism, which is totally different. 
According to Foster, these criticisms would have lead the way from a 
Productivist paradigm to a “Situationist paradigm”, still badly defined 
even when Baudrillard’s criticisms do not spare the Situationists 

In any case, according to Foster, would we be witnessing the coming of a 
third paradigm since the second half of the 80’s, the artist as 
anthropologist, or as ethnographer, since we’re dealing here with a 
field investigator rather than a office anthropologist (even though 
Foster seems to hesitate with an other paradigm which would be the 
artist as a cartographer, or rather as a geographer). An ethnographer 
paradigm, which oddly enough, would be launched at a time when a crisis 
would start, not only between ethnography criticized by structural 
anthropology and structural anthropology itself, just as relates Foster, 
but anthropology as such, mainly due to - no matter what the 
anthropologists are saying about it - the fall of the colonial era and 
the ambiguities of the post-colonial era, if it’s true that there ever 
was a post-colonial era. At the same time, the anthropology in-crisis 
could claim itself, unlike the anthropologist as an artist paradigm, as 
Clifford Geertz [7] and James Clifford [8] did, who are dealing - 
without falling into obvious aesthetics - with anthropologists writings 
as literary or artistic texts, of the fictional texture of anthropology, 
Clifford going as far as talking about “ethnographic Surrealism” 
(Foster, being ironical about that, also starts to talk about the 
anthropologist as a collage artist, multi-cultural collage artist, that 
is). Deconstruction - if not abolition - of the opposition between art 
(and literature) and anthropology. At the same time, as Foster relates, 
that anthropology - in this case, cultural anthropology – can present 
its subject of study, culture, as the result of some collective artists 
creativity, could assimilate nations to artists. Geertz [9] has been 
able to handle cultures themselves as texts similar to written texts, to 
“textualize” non written cultures themselves, with a (questionable) goal 
to de-contextualize them from their discursive enunciation situation (as 
well as from the agents’ intentions) to finally consider anthropology as 
a meta-text, a hermeneutic, when, according to Geertz, the meaning of 
studied facts is generally not concealed, native people are not cultural 
idiots, but are spontaneous anthropologists (without any derogatory 
intention), they are the first interpreters of their own culture, so 
that anthropology appears - far from the “simple description”, the 
“return to the real things”, far from Harold Garfinkel’s [10] 
ethno-methodology - as a second class interpretation, “an interpretation 
of an interpretation” which aims to remain next to the populations under 
study. This allows Geertz to build a disparity in the anthropologist and 
in the “informant” status, a hierarchy between first class and 
second-class interpretations. The anthropologist’s information is not 
meant to be read by the concerned populations, but only by “the 
anthropologists world”. The hermeneutic exchange between the 
anthropologist and the “anthropologized” resembles the exchange between 
settlers and colonized peoples, a deeply unequal exchange. This leads 
Clifford [11] to question the authority of the ethnographer, “his 
authority and his author-ity” to demand, following Roland Barthes [12] 
path, the author’s death, at least the individual author if not the 
collective author, and the reader’s accession to talk, here again, the 
collective reader, plural, rather than the anthropologist as the author, 
and ask for the “anthropologist account” as a literary piece. At the 
same time that appears a new paradigm - not as much for the 
anthropologist as for anthropology - the paradigm of negotiation (based 
on the negotiated portrait in photography), of dialogue, of 
conversation, of inter-subjectivity, of sharing (and not only “exotic 
sharing”), between anthropologist and “anthropologi-zed”, of even an 
effective reciprocity, every one ethnography-ing and starting to 
interpret “the other”.

Nevertheless, one also has to take into consideration that the arrival 
of the paradigm of the artist as an anthropologist is to be connected 
with the coming -that we can deplore, alongside with Adorno, without 
being trapped in a heavy reactive modernism - of art in the broader 
field of culture - as Krauss is talking about the “broader field” of 
sculpture when referring to Serra and others - that anthropology is 
traditionally meant to “control”, although its monopoly is nowadays 
being threatened by the competition of cultural studies.

Yet, at the same time, what seems to give the art base on anthropology, 
a more ethical than political character, when political reflux is 
allowing an ethics come-back, that is not at all the same thing, (let’s 
not mistake ethics and morality), and even though, as mentioned by 
Gilles Lipovetsky [13], it would only be “light” soft ethics, without 
any deep commitment. Deconstruction, as the old sublime category already 
was, of the aesthetic-ethics distinction.

We do not have here the consensual neo-humanistic, egalitarian, “Family 
of Man” style of ethics, but rather the ethics of the Other, of the 
Other with a capital O, ethics of the difference and anthropology 
defining itself now by opposition to sociology, not as the investigation 
of man, but as the quest of the Other. Not so much the social Other, but 
the cultural Other. A passage from a subject defined in terms of 
economical relationships - perhaps political relationships already - of 
political exploitation (producer and worker) to a subject defined in 
terms of cultural identity, representing an “oppressed”, “subjugated” 
sub-culture. This goes together with the growing interest in the problem 
of identities in the age of globalization (what Foster rightly links to 
a definite recent come-back of the subject- and even to a substantial 
subject-following the Structuralism and post-Structuralism period with 
the death of the subject and the death of the man, primarily, the death 
of the author – including also the liberal subject, non substantial, 
even if the on-going rise of the identities does not reject 
globalization as much, since it does not belong there. Yet, this would 
be a pre-defined subject rather than a subject in progress).

And with the idea – as it was the case for the paradigm of the artist as 
a producer - that the artist generally only has a limited access to this 

Because of the anthropology crisis itself, which for its part, 
necessitates a re-conversion, otherness non only of the old “primitive” 
(although this otherness was reduced by its re-conduction to a previous 
state of “the evolution” of the Same) -otherness that modernist 
primitivism had already sought in the past -, otherness of the faraway 
(with a part of exotism), that otherness of the close-by, with, 
according to Foster, the risk of being self indulgent like Michel Leiris 
in his search of the Other within himself, in the interiorization of the 
Other, in the “auto-ethnography” (just like psychoanalysis had rejected 
the practice of auto-analysis), to project in the other one’s own ideal 
– or should we say in one’s ideal of the self?-, and to negate the Other 
as such. Where ethnography used to be in competition with psychoanalysis 
(the Lacanian Other). Foster sustains that anthropology has now replaced 
psychoanalysis as the science of the otherness. Anthropology of the 
close-by can be multi-facetted, from the anthropology practiced by the 
artist as the anthropologist of his daily routine, of his family, of his 
friends, to the anthropology practiced by the outlaws, the homeless, and 
other nomads, migrants or illegal aliens, rejected by the “system”… 
those who are now taking the status of the proletariat in the past.

This is still true when the ethics of the Other seems to always copy 
this Other, absolutely Other as close as could it be, on the absolutely 
Other without any expectation of the divine, the transcendence, the 
Other being always caught in a “double bind” between subordination to 
the Same which denies him (consensual ethics) and absolutisation (ethics 
of the Other).

In particular, a field investigation, on what Marc Augé [14] calls the 
non-sites, (wastelands, fallow lands… which, more than surrounding our 
cities (with all the threat intended), distinctions center/suburbs 
established to reproduce colonialism and post-colonialism, being less 
and less pertinent appear and pierce the urban space. Art meant to 
rehabilitate more than to denounce these non-sites, rehabilitation not 
in the usual urbanism sense, but tending to transform these non-sites 
into a true anthropologist place according Augé’s definition (that he 
borrowed from Certeau [15] ).

Nevertheless, this represents a risk to (eco) museum-ize them, to show 
them off, to turn them into new reservations or new attraction fairs, 
even into new human zoos, and to make a show, mythical-ize or hero-ize 
the outcasts themselves, to make a show of the other’s distress just 
like the so-called humanitarian photography does.

This is the reason why Anthony Hernandez, a Los Angeles photographer, 
photographed for Landscapes for the Homeless the “homes”[16] of LA 
“homeless people”, choosing, thus avoiding any voyeurism, by not ever 
showing homeless people themselves, but only showing the traces they 
left behind. Camp traces, basic and temporary set-ups, with the goal of 
not forging a better utopia world (utopia is now taking refuge in the 
micro-utopia found in the trendy openings at the Palais de Tokyo in 
Paris ), but with the idea of resisting as much as possible and going as 
far as to elaborate, in other countries, a sort of infra-architecture, 
similar to the traces left behind on the land by nomads and similarly to 
the favelas (they were the inspiration for Japanese artist Tadashi 
Kawamata’s Field Works - “field works” being the term used in 
anthropology to designate work in the field - and his own “favelas” that 
he built himself particularly in Houston at the bottom of high tech 
modern sky scrapers designed for wealthy individuals as a type of 
architectonic montage. Transient traces themselves of transient 
developments that photographic traces are trying to perpetuate in 
documenting them. Those who left the traces are never seen and have 
disappeared “for those remaining”. That is the reason why Régis Durand 
[17] said that, in fact, Hernandez didn’t pretend to be an 
anthropologist since he never directly dealt with the concerned 
populations, unlike traditional anthropologist field investigations 
which looked for subjects, or rather, some of them, “the informers”, 
like in the Chicago School, see the anthropologist as an active-observer 
who mingle with the populations he is studying. In fact, Hernandez’s 
photos always tend to magnify the non-sites that they are reproducing in 
putting them back, as the title of the series indicates, in the great 
tradition – genre – of the American West landscape photography, which is 
filled with spiritualism.

During the winter of 97-98, Jacqueline Salmon in Chambres précaires [18] 
searched for rooms in the shelters provided by good will organizations 
for the homeless people during the wintertime. Rooms that, unlike what 
Virginia Woolf [19] claimed as “a room of her own”, have to be entirely 
vacated at dawn, by body and personal effects, in order to get people to 
“work” at looking for jobs, or at least, for food. The spaces shown by 
Jacqueline Salmon are emptied of their transient occupants, unlike the 
fallow lands photographed by Hernandez that are free of all marks of 
appropriation, with the added inconvenience that the outcast finds 
himself excluded twice; he’s excluded both from the non-sites that 
precarious rooms are themselves (even if Marc Augé’s notion of non-site 
can be too open, too vague, since it includes waste grounds, 3 stars 
hotel rooms and precarious rooms, supermarkets, as well as highways and 
their surroundings) and he is excluded from the image, he is off-site. 
He is not so much put at a distance, “distanciation”, than kept in 
“Rooms without a soul” but paradoxally, the photos bring back the 
presence of the passing occupants, those who went by and disappeared in 
the urban material, as a transcendance. There is a sacralization of the 
homeless, in the excessively religious side of Jacqueline Salmon’s usual 
architecture photos (that are, in fact, the content of Chambres 
précaires, as in Hernandez’s pictures are landscape photos). There is no 
longer an aesthetic representation, but an aesthetic presentation, where 
the homeless replace divinity. Sublimation of the excluded where a 
religious character, that too often the characterizes humanitarian 
photography, Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, (which appears to be 
humanitarian photography before the term was coined in the United States 
by the FSA during the Depression but, since it was de-territory-ized 
could also, later be used as a symbol for other causes, for instance for 
the Spanish Civil War), Georges Mérillon’s Piéta de Kosovo, and Hocine’s 
Algerian Madona (sic), despite some differences.

Aesthetics – or ethics – of the presence-presentation (rather than, as 
sustains Thierry de Duve [20], presence-absence) can, in some cases, 
come down to a simple pull back (rather than a total absence) like in 
Jacqueline Salmon’s other series of photographs called Le Hangar [21] 
taken in 2001 in the now dismantled Sangatte Center (that can rather be 
assimilated to Michel Foucault’s [22] heterotopia than a non-site or a 
counter-utopia). If here again, homeless bodies are mostly absent, 
photographers show only makeshift beds, like here, folding beds, but 
also, in order to prove that the place has been occupied, some drying 
laundry, some strewn items of clothing and shoes. A few sleeping men are 
appearing furtively in the shot. They are mostly hidden under their 
covers, they have no faces, they are not identifiable - that was 
probably necessary for security purposes – and they tend to lose all 
human characteristics and therefore they become a thing. De-speculation, 
de-dramatization (like in Edouard Manet’s L’Exécution de l’empereur 
Maximilien where “the main event”, the historical event, the subject of 
historical painting, becomes de-dramatized, unlike Goya’s Trois mai 
1808), indeed, against “shock aesthetic” – if only there is a “shock 
aesthetic” – as found in humanitarian photography, risking to bring back 
the scene from an historical event to a less important event, to bring 
back the scene in total indifference.

Wouldn’t it be just then, to give back the illegal alien or the outcast 
his right to the image, rather than keeping him in the absence of image, 
in the exclusion of image?

Andres Serrano tried to do that in his series entitled Nomades where he 
photographed homeless people in an improvised studio set in the New York 
subway; but, in using too much Caravagio’s chiaroscuro (Caravagio also 
picked street guys as models), he monument-ized (here, opposition 
monument-document) those he was photographing.

Jens Haaning, the Danish photographer, attempted also to capture first 
generation immigrants in Copenhagen, in a trendy fashion photo style, as 
if they were famous top models, with detailed list of their clothing, 
showing labels and prices, just like in Bret Easton Ellis’ novel, 
American Psycho. At the same time, he was preparing The refuge Calendar, 
in 2002 where he used asylum seekers in Finland instead of the usual 

This takes us away from the anthropological model, and leads us to many 
more models coming from high culture or low culture. Gabriela de Gusmao 
Pereira is precisely the artist who comes closest to the anthropologist 
model. In Invention Streets [23], she photographed in the streets of Rio 
de Janeiro, and everywhere else in the world, including in France, not 
the condition of the destitute, but their resourcefulness, their 
inventiveness, “the art without art” of the homeless - often effectively 
visible in her photos – in founding shelters, building themselves rest 
areas, carrying their burden or selling various small items, non only in 
order “to survive” - survival being the last resort, a sub-life – but to 
actually live their lives. Similar gimmicks found in Michel de Certeau 
[24] show, in their own way, how the homeless resist to being crushed by 
the so-called consumer society. This is different from “la pratique de 
la perruque” studied by Michel de Cerneau, where working people are 
using their work tools for a personal use; we are dealing here with 
unemployed people who are diverting various consumer society reminders, 
such as supermarket trolleys. We are far from Krystof Wodiczko’s 
homeless vehicles or “aliens staff” which, if they were ever available 
to the outcasts, with the pretense of introducing them to the 
passers-by, not only would keep them in their otherness, but would also 
isolate them in their otherness even more. In this case, the fact that 
homeless people are often visible in the photos is not a problem, since 
they are neither presented in a victimized way, which would tend 
crushing them more, nor in a militant mode, but as a source of great 
creativity. We can regret at the most that Gabriela de Gusmao Pereira is 
never seen herself on her photos, that whatever room “allocated” to the 
creativity of those that she photographs, her work still stays in a “one 
way” direction.

The group Stalker (who took over Andrei Tarkovski’s film title) also got 
interested in the creativity of the oppressed – the architectural 
creativity — and is based in Rome. It presents itself as an “urban art 
lab” with swing-wing geometry, whose composition varies according to the 
types of projects the group is involved with, and was founded by a group 
of architects in association with various other architects, artists, 
photographers, video artists, and anthropologists (except that in this 
case, the anthropologist is only a model for the artists). They are very 
fond of walking and therefore, they become walker-architects who are 
nomads themselves, instead of the usual sedentary characteristics of 
architecture, and unlike any spectacular-isation, they experiment from 
the inside the urban phenomenon through their walking, just like the 
walker-sculptors (Richard Long, Hamish Fulton…), widely using 
photography, with the difference that Stalker’s walks are on urban 
territory and not on rural territory. These walks are also to be 
“situated” in the Situationist drift scene, with the difference that 
they are not taking place in residential areas, but in what Stalker 
calls “current territories” – current in a sense of temporary – a more 
limited notion than the non-site notion referring to waste grounds, 
fallow lands, and other urban zones, not so much peripheral or marginal, 
but in-between zones generated by urban metropolis while waiting for 
redistribution and constitute the dregs of urban civilization. Stalker 
draws maps of the current territories after the walks, that is a model, 
this time effectively a cartographic or geographic models, even if those 
maps are meant to help losing usual geographic and tourist landmarks. 
Cartography –maps and not carbon copies - to take the term of Deleuze 
and Guattari [25] – of other sites – heterotopia or Temporary Atonomous 
Zones (TAZ) [26] types, temporary themselves – and of other forms of 
life trying to escape predetermined rules enacted by architects, town 
planners, research departments, politicians and planners of all sorts, 
to escape control, and invent all types of new possibilities: squats, 
illegal constructions, “wild vegetables gardens”… An architecture 
without architects being models for other architects themselves. As it 
happened in Pessac [27], the inhabitant would be accused of 
“denaturalizing” architecture –in this case, Le Corbusier’s architecture 
– by doing some changes in order to take it over – it has been said that 
modernist architecture was not, in fact, a housing machine since it was 
not habitable, a piece of furniture brought in a house built, for 
example by Mies van der Rohe was perceived as an intrusion-, the 
inhabitant is here responsible if not for the architecture, for the 
habitat, such as, according to Duchamp, the observer is drawing the 
portrait, or in the portraits “executed” by some portraitists, the 
portrait-ized is painting the portrait, not the portraitist. Thus, 
Stalkers’practices become de facto a modernist functionalism criticism. 
Even though Stalker since returned to the conception of artist as an 
ethnographer but rather as a social re-mediator, and that is very 
questionable, since social re-mediation is almost always an illusion, 
because it only soothes the pains without being able to resolve pending 

As the cartographic paradigm was also adopted by the architect Stefano 
Boeri and his Agency Multiplicity based in Milan, and associated with 
various artists (including the photographer Gabriele Basilico), - they 
have undertaken researches about “eclectic atlas”, in using 
heterogeneous supports without any pseudo-unity stitching up of 
contradictions - trying to explore the relationship between land 
transformations, vertical regulation systems and the proliferating forms 
of local auto-organization.

The artist, rather than talking on the behalf of the proletariat or the 
outcasts, could try, if not “to free the speech”, or at least, to give 
voice to those who cannot speak out, who does only in a “fixed” way, 
like on television during reality shows. It could be another paradigm, 
the artist as spokesperson, opposed here again, to Wodiczko’s 
spokesperson, who is seen more as a gagging instrument than a true 

Jean-Claude Moineau
Paris, November 10 th, 2005


[1] Nicolas BOURRIAUD, « Time Specific Art contemporain, exploration et 
développement durable », Expérience de la durée, Biennale de Lyon, Paris 
musées, 2OO3.

[2] Thomas KUHN, Thomas KUHN, « Comment on the Relations of Science and 
Art », 1969, The Essential Tension, Selected Studies in Scientific 
Tradition and Change, Chicago, University of Chicago, 1977.

[3] Joseph KOSUTH, «The Artist as Anthropologist», 1975, Art after 
Philosophy and After, collected Writings,1966-1990, Cambridge, Mass., 
MIT Press, 1991.

[4] Hal FOSTER, « L’Artiste comme ethnographe, ou la “fin de l’Histoire“ 
signifie-t-elle le retour à l’anthropologie ? », tr. fr. Jean-Paul 
AMELINE, ed. Face à l’histoire, L’artiste moderne devant l’événement 
historique, Paris, Flammarion- Centre Georges Pompidou, 1996.

[5] Walter BENJAMIN, « L’Auteur comme producteur », 1934, tr. fr. Paris, 
Maspero, 1969.

[6] Ernst BLOCH, Erbschaft dieser Zeit, 1935, Frankfurt, Suhrkamp.

[7] Clifford GEERTZ, Works and Lives : The Anthropologist as Author, 
Board of trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior university, 1988
[8] James CLIFFORD, Malaise dans la culture, L’ethnographie, la 
littérature et l’art au XXe siècle, tr. fr. Paris, ENSBA, 1996.

[9] Clifford GEERTZ, “Thick Description : Toward an Interpretative 
Theory of Culture”, in The Interpretations of Culture, New York, Basic 
Books, 1973. fr. Daniel CÉFAÏ, ed. L’Enquête de terrain, Paris, La 
découverte, 2003.
GEERTZ Clifford, “Thick Description : Toward an Interpretative Theory of 
Culture”, in The Interpretations of Culture, New York, Basic Books, 1973,

[10] Harold GARFINKEL, « Le programme de l’ethnométhodologie », 1996, 
tr. fr. L’Etnométhodologie, Une sociologie radicale, Paris, La 
découverte, 2001.

[11] James CLIFFORD, « De l’autorité en ethnographie, Le récit 
anthropologique comme texte littéraire », 1981, tr. fr. Daniel CÉFAÏ, 
op. cit.

[12] Roland BARTHES, « La Mort de l’auteur », 1968, Œuvres complètes, 
tome II, Paris, Seuil, 1994.

[13] Gilles LIPOVETSKY, Le Crépuscule du devoir, L’éthique indolore des 
nouveaux temps démocratiques, Paris, Gallimard, 1992.

[14] Marc AUGÉ, Non-lieux, Introduction à une anthropologie de la 
surmodernité, Paris, Seuil, 1992.

[15] Michel de CERTEAU, L’Invention du quotidien, tome 1, Arts de faire, 
Paris, Union générale d’éditions, 1980.

[16] Anthony HERNANDEZ, Landscapes for the Homeless, Hanovre, Sprengel 
Museum, 1995 et Landscapes for the Homeless II, Sons of Adam, Paris, 
Centre national de la photographie- Lausanne, Musée de l’Elysée, 1997.

[17] Régis DURAND, « Fils d’Adam », Anthony HERNANDEZ, Landscapes for 
the Homeless II, op. cit.

[18] Jacqueline SALMON et Paul VIRILIO, Chambres précaires, Heidelberg 
Kehrer, 2000.

[19] Virginia WOOLF, A room of Her own, tr. fr. Paris, Denoël- Gonthier, 

[20] Thierry de DUVE, « Performance ici et maintenant : l’art minimal, 
un plaidoyer pour un nouveau théâtre », Essais datés tome 1, 1974-1986, 
Paris, La différence, 1987.

[21] Jacqueline SALMON, Le Hangar, Paris, Trans photographic press, 2001.

[22] Michel FOUCAULT, « Des espaces autres », 1967, Dits et écrits 
1954-1988, tome IV, 1980-1988, Paris, Gallimard, 1994.

[23] Gabriela de Gusmao PEREIRA, Rua dos inventos – Invention Street, 
Rio de Janeiro, Ouro sobre Azul, 2004.

[24] Michel de CERTEAU, op. cit.

[25] Gilles DELEUZE et Félix GUATTARI, Capitalisme et schizophrénie, 
tome 2 Mille plateaux, Paris, Minuit, 1980.

[26] Cf. Hakim BEY, T.A.Z. The Temporary Autonomous Zone. Ontological 
Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism, Brooklyn, Automedia, 1991.

[27] Cf. Philippe BOUDON, Pessac de Le Corbusier, étude 
socio-architecturale, Paris, Dunod, 1969.

Jean-Claude Moineau’s biography:

After studying linguistic, philosophy, math and music, Jean-Claude 
Moineau got involved during the 60’s, in numerous artistic and 
“meta-artistic” activities, mostly directed toward conceptual art, 
virtual poetry, events, performing pieces, mail art and “art beyond 
art”. He participates in various solo and group exhibitions and 
performances in Paris, in France and all over the world, and he 
collaborates with many French and international magazines. He is the 
co-founder of many groups and reviews, and he organizes the first 
Festival Permanent in Orléans, France.

As did most 68’s artists, he then stoppes all artistic activity. Unlike 
many who started to get involved again, he refuses to resume his action, 
as if nothing ever happened before. He continues to be interested in art 
and in its apories, but in spite of it all, his thought processes remain 
“meta-artitic”, in the sense of “what relates" to (in a critical way) art.

Since 1969 he teaches art theory at Paris VIII University where he 
launched and for a long time directed a First Cycle in Art Formation, 
while being aware of the on-going art world. He also participates in 
many talks and lectures and is curating many exhibitions.

Main recent publications:

- L’Art dans l’indifférence de l’art, Paris, PPT, 2001.
- « La Musique s’écoute-t-elle encore ? »,
Musiques d’aujourd’hui, Actualité en 26 propos, Conseil général de la 
Creuse, 1993.
- « Who’s Afraid of Video ? », Giallu, Revue d’art et de sciences 
humaines n° 5, Ajaccio, 1995.
- « Trop Much », Deuxième mois « off » de la photographie à Paris, 
Paris, 1996.
- « After Art After Philosophy », (Easy) Viewing, St. Denis, Musée d’art 
et d’histoire, 1997.
- « Paragraphs on Contextual Art », Présenten° 1, Paris, 1997.
- « Le Récit de l’art », Le Récit et les arts, Paris, L’Harmattan, 1998.
- « Habiter le cyberspace ? », Episodic n° 4-5, Paris, 1998.
- « ça va faire mal », Output n 2, Séoul, 1999.
- « Le Réseau de l’art », Output n°3, Séoul, 1999.
- « Au-delà de la valeur d’exposition », Avis de passage, St. Brieux, 
ODDC Côtes d’Armor, 2001.
- « ça va ça vient », BERNARDINI, Alain, 1995/2002, Brétigny-sur-Orge, 
Espace Jules Verne, 2002.
- « A compte d’auteur » Allotopie n°B, Copyleft, Rennes, Incertain sens, 
- « Fluxus : une critique artiste de l’art », Luvah hors série n°29, 
Besançon, Luvah- Dijon, Presses du réel, 2004.
- « Une théâtralité post-théâtrale », CORVIN, Michel et ANCEL, Franck, 
ed. Autour de Jacques Polieri, Scénographie et technologie, Paris, 
Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2004.
- « De la photographie comme opérateur critique à la photographie comme 
opérateur d’art », Ligeia, Dossiers sur l’art n°49-50-51-52, Paris, 2004.
- « Qu’est-ce que l’art a à faire des images ? », Art grandeur nature 
2004, Saint-Ouen, Synesthésie 2004.
- « Le Concert des nations à l’ère de la globalisation », La Toison 
d’or, Laboratoire artistique flottant, Girold, Apollonia, 2004.
- « Pour une nouvelle économie de l’art »,Guy CHEVALIER, Économies 
silencieuses et audaces approximatives, Paris, PPT, 2005.
-« Polyrythmie », Urban Rhythms Human Rythms, Pékin, Beijing Film 
Academy / Saint-Denis, Université de Paris 8, 2005.
-« Fluxus, un en-jeu géopolitique », 20/21 siècles, Cahiers du Centre 
Pierre Francastel n°2, Fluxus en France, 2005.
-« Étant donnés », Checkpoint n°1, 2006.

Translation : Kristine Barut Dreuilhe

Original version:
L'artiste et ses "modèles"

All text is available under the French license Creative Commons :
non-commercial attribution – no derived work. 2.0. In order to encourage 
a free pedagogic or associative usage.


“Small annotations designed to remember things we have seen”.

The word apostil comes from the Latin “post illa”, “after those things” 
and is generally written in the left margin, whether it is a legal 
document or the note that we added today at the bottom of a page.

The purpose of this column is to publish an original text on a 
bi-monthly basis.
pourinfos.org wishes to share periodically contemporary thoughts in a 
non-synchronized time/news (headlines) relationship with no further 
intention to become a magazine or a review.
The articles that you will read in this column will not only debate 
matters about visual arts, but also about topics related to society, 
politics, techniques, etc…

[apostils] [apostils] [apostils] [apostils] [apostils] [apostils] [apostils]

Direction de la publication
xavier.cahen at pourinfos.org

More information about the Artinfo mailing list