MUSAC Showcases project focused on the publication pointdironie.com
31 January - 21 June 2009
at The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain musac.es
How to distribute art in times of digital communications?
With large scale print publications!
Point d'ironie is a publication which is circulating free of charge around the world. 150,000 to 200,000 copies are handed out at agnès b. outlets in Europe, Asia, US as well as at museums,
cafés, galleries, art schools and other institutions). The magazine was established in 1997 by French fashion designer agnès b. in cooperation with Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and French artist Christian Boltanski with the idea to offer free artworks in print format as an answer to the age of digital communications, allowing users to touch, read, frame, file...
publication’s broad distribution undermines the idea of the ‘original’. Traditionally, if you owned a
photograph, there were at the most 50 copies of it, so it acquired an economic value. Point d’ironie’s
mass distribution destroys that value and allows a student or housewife to hang it on the wall. Therein
lies an important element of the publication’s originality, since this idea of mass distribution is pretty
rate in the art world, where everything works in small circles,” says artist Christian Boltanski.
Around four times a year, an artist, film editor, architect... is selected to grant full control of the Point d'ironie paper in its hybrid publishing project: part magazine, part poster.
In this exhibition Point d'ironie curator and editor María Inés Rodríguez has designed an installation where an entire set of magazines, from the first issue to the most recent, is used to cover the available space. In addition, 10,000 copies of the magazine, carrying the works of Robert Crumb, Hugues Reip and Melanie Counsell, amongst others, are circulating free.
Yoko Ono (artist), Marlene Streeruwitz (author), Rosemarie Trockel (artist), Douglas Gordon (artist), Gilbert & George (artists) ... to name only a few of 45 'publishers' who have directed the editions of Point d'ironie between May 1997 and October 2008.
The name of the publication 'Point d'ironie'
The publication takes its name from the point d’ironie punctuation mark invented in the late 19th
century by French author Alcanter de Brahm to be used at the end of sentences (in the same way as an
exclamation or question mark) to indicate ironic passages in the text.
fig.: Showcase Project. View of the installation Point d’ironie at MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (31/01/09 - 21/06/09)