本 路易斯Ben Lewis调查当代艺术市场起落背后的故事

本 路易斯站在佳士得纽约拍行门口

本 路易斯站在佳士得纽约拍行门口

ArtDaily伦敦报道:

如今,当代艺术的繁荣风潮已经过去,但从2003年至2008年秋,全世界都目睹了当代艺术市场前所未有的疯狂热闹。

在过去这些年丧心病狂的繁荣风潮中,艺术评论人与制片人本 路易斯Ben Lewis紧随当代艺术市场的节奏与步伐,马不停蹄地走访大大小小的艺术博览会、拍卖会、美术馆,以及身价亿万的艺术藏家的豪宅或办公室,采访艺术交易商、拍卖师、画廊主、艺术市场分析师与艺术藏家,试图寻找这一具有深远历史意义的社会现象背后的真实原因。他揭露了不为人知的纷繁复杂的艺术交易,独特出众的市场交易手段与广为人知的公开秘密,还有那份对当代艺术的满腔热情与执着信念。

2008年9月15日,是雷曼兄弟倒闭的日子,也是自1929年以来金融界最糟糕的一天。而就是在这同一天,达明 赫斯特Damien Hirst 以7000万英镑的天价亲自售出了他的艺术作品,这意味着苏富比拍卖行在两天内就完成了1.11亿英镑的交易额。这可以被当做是当代艺术泡沫群山的最高峰——艺术的商业价值所达到的史无前例的高度。

然而,也是在那一天,有一位艺术评论人兼制片人被苏富比和赫斯特拒之门外,他,就是本 路易斯。

为什么?为了寻找答案,他花了整整一年的时间来制作一部纪录片,探寻当代艺术市场繁荣背后的故事,也因此而背上了“剑走偏锋”的恶名,当代艺术界的宠儿们将他视为充满偏见的异路人。

在信贷蓬勃的时代,经济泡沫几乎无处不在:房产、酒业、黄铜、石油。但有一种泡沫远比其他任何泡沫都要大得多:当代艺术。一幅安迪 沃霍售价7.2千万美金,一幅Mark Rothko 售价7.3千万美金,一幅弗朗西斯 培根售价8.6千万美金。当经济界的所有其他都不同程度地在2007年底受到了信贷紧缩Credit Crunch的震动衰落,当代艺术泡沫却依然一路领跑,接着膨胀,直至其扩张至史无前例的尺寸,并还在贪婪地继续增长。

艺术评论人与制片人本 路易斯将他的2008年全部用在了调查当代艺术泡沫上。不论他身在何处,他都会被告知当代艺术市场的繁荣将会永远继续下去,永不终结,因为全球超富阶级对艺术的新鲜激情将是市场前进的永动机。但路易斯也发现了除此之外的更多、更重要的原因,一整个超凡脱俗的艺术世界,一个充满了不寻常市场手段、投机主义、私密性首位、税收模糊的艺术世界——每一个艺术交易商、藏家、画廊、拍卖行、公立美术馆及其他一切艺术从业者都在其中扮演者各自的角色。

在这部纪录片中,路易斯也发现了他自己在当代艺术泡沫破裂中扮演的角色,影片中的许多资料都是首次与公众见面。终于,一个他在许久之前就已做出的预言实现了。在赫斯特那场历史性的拍卖会举行一个月之后,当代艺术市场崩盘,截止2008年成交量下跌了整整40%,截止2009年2月,成交量下跌75%并还在持续下跌。

伟大的当代艺术泡沫http://benlewis.tv/ 不仅是一部关于艺术市场的纪录影片,更是解读在2008年,全球经济在无尽的妄想与贪婪推动下终于越轨坠毁的社会寓言。在不远的将来,当代艺术泡沫或许会成为我们回顾整个当代艺术繁荣时代的缩影。

 

Ben Lewis Investigates the Rise and Fall of the Contemporary Art Market

 

Ben Lewis stands outside of Christie’s.

LONDON. The contemporary art boom is now over, but between 2003 and Autumn 2008 the world witnessed a craze for collecting contemporary art unprecedented in history.

During the last frenzied year of this boom, art critic and film-maker Ben Lewis followed the contemporary art market, travelling to art fairs, auctions, museums, and the offices and homes of billionaire art collectors,, interviewing dealers, auctioneers, gallery-owners, art market analysts and art collectors, trying to find out the reasons behind this historic phenomenon. He uncovered a world of complicated deals, distinctive market practices and widespread secrecy as well as passionate enthusiasm for contemporary art.

On September 15th 2008, the day of the collapse of Lehmans, the worst financial news since 1929, Damien Hirst sold over £70 million of his art, in an auction at Sotheby’s that would total £111 million over two days. It was the peak of the contemporary art bubble – the greatest rise in the financial value of art in the history of the world.

One art critic and film-maker was banned by Sotheby’s and Hirst from attending this historic auction: Ben Lewis.

Why? He had spent a year making a documentary searchng for the reasons behind the booming contemporary art market, and they claimed he was “biased” against them and contemporary art.

During the easy-credit boom years, there were bubbles in many assets – property, wine, copper, oil. But there was one bubble that was bigger than all the rest: contemporary art. An Andy Warhol sold for $72 million, a Rothko for $73 million, and a Francis Bacon for $86 million. While the rest of the economy began to falter under the Credit Crunch in late 2007, the contemporary art bubble kept on inflating, bigger and fatter than ever before.

Art critic and film-maker Ben Lewis spent all of 2008 investigating this contemporary art bubble. Everywhere he went, the art world told him that the contemporary art boom would go on forever, fuelled by a new passion from the world’s super-rich. But Lewis found other big reasons for the contemporary art boom – a world of unusual market practices, speculation, secrecy and tax breaks that involved the whole art world – dealers, collectors, galleries, auction houses and, in some senses, even public museums.

In the climax of the film, Lewis’ discoveries lead him to play his own part in the bursting of the contemporary art bubble, which is revealed for the first time in this film.

Finally the moment came that he had long predicted. A month after the Hirst auction at Sotheby’s, the contemporary art market crashed, dropping by 40% in November 2008 and 75% by February 2009, and still falling today.

The Great Contemporary Art Bubble is not only a film about the art market , it may be read as a parable for the delusion and greed which drove the world economy over the edge in 2008. In future years the contemporary art bubble may come to be seen as the epitome of the boom-times we have been living through.

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