Filed under essay | Tags: · art, contemporary art, institutional critique, market, money
Andrea Fraser’s essay “L’1% C’est Moi” focuses on the direct relationship between art-market trends and income distribution. The essay’s title refers to the statement “l’état, c’est moi” (“the state, it is me“), attributed to Louis XIV and often evoked to illustrate the principle of absolute monarchy, as well as to Gustave Flaubert’s famous remark, “Madame Bovary, c’est moi.”
“How do the world’s leading collectors earn their money? How do their philanthropic activities relate to their economic operations? And what does collecting art mean to them and how does it affect the art world? If we look at the incomes of this class, it is conspicuous that their profits are based on the growth of income inequality all over the world.
This redistribution of capital in turn has a direct influence on the art market: the greater the discrepancy between the rich and the poor, the higher prices in this market rise. The situation, it would seem, urgently calls for the development of alternatives to the existing system.” (from the essay)
First published in Texte zur Kunst 83, Berlin, September 2011, pp. 114-127