COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE is being partly financed by selling artworks questioning the structure of the art scene, including biennials and art fairs. This untraditional selling platform is at the same time also functioning as integrated self-critical entity for the biennale.
Artists have for decades questioned the canvas, the pigment, the frame and the museum; Thierry Geoffroy /COLONEL is questioning structures in the art world such as the biennials, art fairs, and art academies.
With his tent installations, cartons and active interventions leading to spirited debates, the artist Thierry Geoffroy/ COLONEL is questioning the structures of the important art events on the spot while they happen.
What is dictating the art market structure and setting the scene for art fairs? In a humoristic way, Thierry Geoffroy/ COLONEL focuses on the notion of trust and develops a rather unusual artistic intervention. By creating doubt about the value of the popular artworks, he tries to provoke vibrations in the art market.
At the 2008 Armory Show in New York City, Thierry Geoffroy brought his audio recorder and asked those attending: "What is the role of the artist in society?" In this program we hear a sampling of the people's response in addition to an interview with the Colonel by WPS1's David Weinstein.
In 2009 for one of his artworks, the artist instructed several actors to stand in front of FIAC art fair proposing bypassing VIP visitors to buy their art collection. The fictive collection, including the skull by artist Damien Hirst, was on sale for a very low price because of the recession in the art market.
The concept was to create a moment of fear that would bring the art market out of balance. This artwork emphasizes that the art market is not based on solid values but more fragile ideas and beliefs. The art market is like a religion. If we stop believing in it, it stops working.
This, and couple of other, interventions realized the same month in respectively ABC Art Fair in Berlin and Frieze in London, was part of ARTFAIRIST – an art project questioning the art market by creating rumors.
In I'm a great painter, I'm ranked 2444 , the artist reflects on his own ranking in ArtFactsNet and creates a debate on what is dictating the value of an artist.
This artwork is done on canvas and includes a comment to a traditional reflection on what is a painting and a great painter. The question about what is good and bad art stands very clear in this piece opposing the aesthetic and commercial set of values.
Global biennialization of the art world has given biennials authority to function as the supreme arbiter of the international art world. Biennials have great power to implement and influence the public opinion. It is thus important to question the motivations behind biennials.
Thierry Geoffroy/COLONEL have since 1988 been taking the thematics of the biennales seriously and testing their pertinence on location. Many biennials promote themselves as optimal platforms for critical thinking, giving the public a sensation of being actively reflective when in reality the biennial structures often create a safe bubble where the critique becomes harmless.
In 2011 Thierry Geoffroy/ COLONEL did a project respectively supported by the ZKM Museum Museum of Contemporary Art for conducting operations at the Athens Biennale curated by Nicolas Bourriaud and by the Sprengel Museum for operation done at the Venice Biennale. This led to another 100-day action project in 2012 titled The emergency will replace the contemporary, where Thierry Geoffroy/ COLONEL started questioning the proximity between the weapon production in Kassel and its connection to the art world.
Now, Thierry Geoffroy/ COLONEL is already preparing for documenta 14 with a project called Always question the structure, focusing on the questions such as Why is dOCUMENTA in Athens?