Portrait of a collector

Fred Forest
(1974)

As part of an auction of contemporary art organized by the auctioneer Maître Jean-Claude Binoche, the proposed work is entered in the catalog under the name "video portrait of a collector," Sony tape 1/2 inch, blank, accompanied by a contract that the bidder must agree to comply. The contract specifies that the video portrait made will consist of footage shot during the sale and recorded images later during five meals during which the collector-buyer will be filmed in fixed plan.
At the beginning of the sale, Fred Forest is placed alongside the auctioneer, camera in hand, and point the lens toward the room. The price of the work release is announced for a total of "zero franc". Indeed at this time there were no pictures yet registered and the work is still virtual ... Once the first bidder raises his hand, Fred Forest presses the trigger of his camera. The video-portrait starts. The first bidder acquires the status of a collector by his gesture. The electronic portrait takes place in real time. As soon as a new candidate raises his arm for a higher bid, Fred Forest's camera leaves the first bidder who loses his status to move on the second ... In the course of the auction the video portrait goes from one person to another... whenever challenged by the next auction and upper that is made. Fred Forest's camera now makes trips between some candidates vying fiercely the artwork, until the final bidder.

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