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La banane invisible

At the Basel Fair in 2019, Galerie Perrotin sold a banana taped to its picture rails. Fred Forest's device here is an ingenious demonstration that this work only sold with the implicit agreement of market operators.



La banane invisible, zoom avec Alain Dominique Perrin


La banane invisible, zoom dirigé par Christophe Pouilly


Intervention de Paul Ardenne au sujet de la Banane invisible

La banane invisible, zoom avec Alain Dominique Perrin
La banane invisible, zoom avec Alain Dominique Perrin
La banane invisible, zoom dirigé par Christophe Pouilly
La banane invisible, zoom dirigé par Christophe Pouilly
Intervention de Paul Ardenne au sujet de la Banane invisible
Intervention de Paul Ardenne au sujet de la Banane invisible

2020 La Banane invisible

AMOUNT OF 120.000 $ USD, THAT IS TO SAY 108.120 € !

TITLE OF THE WORK: " Still life on Space Media or
invisible banana on a white plate in Limoges porcelain "(still life on Space Media or invisible banana on a white plate in Limoges porcelain).
19 décembre 2019 à 13h00

A work sold at Art Basel Miami in December 2019 ignited the debate and "gossip" about art, according to Philipp Kennicott of the Washington Post, about its nature, its mode of exhibition, its excessive price, and its over-mediatization. Alain Robbe-Grillet, ten years earlier, in the alleys
of the same fair confided to Fred Forest in a premonitory way that the collectors were interested here already by three things: ART, SILVER, EVENT!
What seems to confirm the sale of the famous banana of the Italian artist


This work, the well named Comedian, inspires today to the artist and academic, Fred Forest, thecreation of a critical, demonstrative and participative work, in conformity with his usual modes ofcreations, of which he enunciates the protocol below. Obviously, it is not at all a question for him of plagiarizing the creator of this work and of infringing his inalienable and imprescriptible copyrights, but, in a way, to create a work of complementary nature in a kind of setting in abyss, and to give him thus a form of extension... All reason and comparison kept, as Picasso was able to conceive in his way to remake Velasquez's Meninas with the visual means and the spirit of his time, and this a half-century before conceptual art was established and recognized, Forest, tries to do the same. That is, to produce a work that deals with the subject matter of another work, Comedian, which has had the tangible result of creating an economic-mediatico-sociological event as part of the Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 fair.

1-Forest's post-conceptual work in question will be hung and visible on the walls of the Galerie Stéphane Mortier at 77 rue Amelot in the eleventh arrondissement of Paris, under the title "Still life with banana on a white plate from Limoges".

2-The Gallery will be open to the public from January 25 to March 21, 2020 and to potential buyers during the opening hours of the Gallery, protected by a cordon of guards from a private company, in order to avoid the inconvenience of an audience of young collectors, both enthusiastic and too numerous, whose untimely movements are always to be feared in this kind of event for the shops in the neighbourhood. The work consists of a blank SPACE MEDIA, framed under glass, with its title at its base

3-The presentation will result in an invitation being sent to 350 French collectors, some of whom, the most important, are members of an association that organises and awards the Marcel Duchamp Prize every year with the help of the Centre Pompidou during the FIAC.
These collectors, guided by FRED FOREST himself, visited his own retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in July 2017. As a result, they all already have an in-depth knowledge of his practice, notably instructed by the illustrated catalogue, published on this occasion and distributed by the
Librairie Flammarion at the Centre Pompidou, as well as of his biography, supported, among others, by Pierre Restany, Edgar Morin, Vilém Flusser, Anthony Haden-Guest, Mario Costa, Pierre Lévy, Pierre Moëglin, Derrick de Kerckhove, Louis José Lestocart, Annick Bureaud etc.

4-in the correspondence that the artist personally addresses to them, the artist offers them the purchase of this work of art (printed in 3 copies) visible at Galerie Mortier at the non-negotiable price of 120,000 dollars or 108.120 € each (reference price established on the sale of a similar product at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2019).

5-For the fact that this purchase is offered to French collectors as a priority, if by chance it were to take place, it would constitute an operation of significant national interest at a time when Paris, since the last FIAC in 2019, has been the object of renewed interest in contemporary art. Let us
note, as a favourable omen for this outcome, the collector who made the purchase of "Comédian" is already of French nationality... By a happy ripple effect, we can think that a new purchase, blow after blow, would benefit French artists, under-represented on the international market,
French institutions having always been unable to support them, except for a “quarteron” of them (always the same ones) for more than twenty years... On Saturday, March 21st at 6pm, a delegation of art critics led by Paul Ardenne will go to the Galerie S-Mortier in order to see what is happening with the sale of "La Nature morte, banana in a white Limoges porcelain plate ". He will question the gallery owner on this point in the presence of the press and will open the debate with the public a little later.

Two situations are to be considered:

a) First situation:
The work has sold well at the price indicated. The French or foreign buyer may be anonymous, but may also be present and questioned by the press, if he or she so wishes. The champagne is shortbread.
The conceptual work thus constituted will then take its true existence, as well as the new rib of its author, in the form of a certificate of authenticity, accompanied by its protocol signed by the artist. The object will be given to the purchaser against a check of 120.000 $ usd or 108.303
euros, in the presence of the gallery owner Stéphane Mortier and of Master Eric Le Marec, judicial officer. We will then note that the amount representing this sale is strictly equivalent to the work sold by Gallery Perrotin in Miami. The similarity of the subjects and the non traditional but very personal way of treating it by each of the two artists will highlight a shared talent, although very personal in style and especially in purpose. A talent that fully justifies that the selling prices of the two works are identical for an artistic value recognized in principle at least equal. In fact, both artists present, for each of them, a prestigious career, each in its own genre, almost similar, except that the selling prices of the second of the two artists are incredibly higher than those of the first. Forest moreover refuses in general to sell his works, except exceptional circumstances. What Bernard Blistène, director of the MNAM/Pompidou, had to endure to his great displeasure in the presence of Alain Seban and Emma Lavigne during the official meal at Chez Georges en mai 2016.

The purchase made at Galerie Mortier therefore seems to re-establish a fairer parity between the respective prices of these two so-called banana artists in the future. It is important to note that the proceeds from the sale of the work exhibited at Galerie S-Mortier will be entirely donated to an association of artists, the "Association Mains d'œuvres de Saint-Ouen", recently deprived of its workplace by the mayor of this Parisian suburb.

b-Second case:
The work has unfortunately not found a buyer at the asking price. The artist will read aloud a short text on this failure and will try, in his capacity as a sociological art theorist, to give some factual reasons. This text will in a way become an integral part of the work, and constitutes its
artistic, sociological, aesthetic and philosophical justification as a post-conceptual sociological work of art. The art critics present, led by Paul Ardenne, will then start a debate with the public on the price of the works and their astonishing disparity on the market according to the artists.
Disparity, it should be noted, not based on any objective artistic criteria justifying such disparities...
In any case, the artist will underline the success of his factual experience as a sociological art Practical Work, insofar as it reveals the conditionings to which collectors themselves are subjected, whose choices no longer depend on their free will, but on "influencers" of all kinds, directly or indirectly linked to the networks constituted by the world contemporary art. They are at the service of various financial and institutional powers, of which they are themselves, at one level or another, integral parts. The experimental model proposed here by Fred Forest for the highlighting of the mechanisms of the art market works perfectly. Proof is thus well made, that the purchases like the price of the works in matter of contemporary art are determined, no longer by the quality, the specificity, the novation of the work itself, but by the image that the media send back of the artist, the financial power of the gallery that proposes the sale, the importance devoted to the promotional budget, the richness of its relational and media network, its position in the world geography. The demand for acquisition and the sale prices of the proposed works are no longer intrinsically linked to aesthetic criteria, but are based on a complex and devious chemistry concocted by the art world, as Arthur Danto calls it. An art world where works are now essentially considered as financial products, their values no longer being based on artistic criteria, but described, submitted, indexed and adjusted on a grid of stock market parameters.
In this situation of confusion, Fred Forest, suggests that the legitimacy to fix the price of the work should return in last resort to the artist, the only one able to estimate the sweat, the energy, the patience, the time, the talent, the intelligence and the creativity that will have been necessary to
him to realize it. On the other hand, no one can deny that, like any market, the art market is linked to the laws of supply and demand. And everyone knows it, even if everyone pretends to ignore it, the art market is a market maintained artificially by a few major collectors, very powerful galleries, heads of international institutions, a few art critics, and even a handful of artists and the media. Some will judge Forest's position as vain and as demonstrating an abyssal naivety, the exemplary fight that he has been leading alone against the Centre Pompidou for years, however, gives him reason to be right. After having succeeded in invading the Beaubourg citadel for the first time against all odds in July 2017, he is now preparing for a new offensive, strengthened by this first victory obtained through hard struggle, which he is leading in the name of ETHICS alone.
As a sign of the times, the climate is changing, and even commentators who judge the situation in the United States on the spot and report on it, tell us that the most important museums are being forced to separate from their most emblematic leaders under pressure from artists who want to
establish a greater ethic in their operations. (See THE ART NEWS PAPERS DAILY N° 319
25/6/2019 French Edition)
The experimental and pedagogical system put in place by Fred Forest by the sale of his banana, reveals this unease that begins to contaminate Europe and moreover gives to the artist (that is to say to the artists) the legitimate and moral right to determine henceforth and to them alone the
price representing the value of their works. That is to say, also their work, without having to be dependent on the market in any way, and without falling victim to a coast, which ultimately turns out to be the result of various manipulations by the art market and its influencers. What Arthur
Danto calls with some pudeur the "World of Art" ...
Who are these influencers? They are you and me, according to our own notoriety and our ability to act as a guarantor for a person or a cause according to our own ideology. That is to say, possibly in the art world, any person whose professional or extra-professional functions are credited with a certain knowledge or power, which may or may not itself be monetized, and some of whom will consider, rightly or wrongly, that information and initiatives may be useful to them one day.

To finish, the basic price of this work of which the artist proposes you today the purchase without intermediary at 120.000 $ usd or 108.120 € euros was thus decided alone according to the artist's own principles, and could be increased according to the offers made until March 21, 2020 at 18h00, as well by French as foreign collectors on condition that a guarantee check representing the increased total sum is deposited in time at the office of Master Eric Le Marec, Bailiff, 54 rue Taitbout, 75009 Paris.
If you do not have the funds available to make this purchase at the present time, do not regret anything, the opportunity will arise one day or another that we all wish better. Tomorrow, in a year, or in ten years...You will then be sure to make the purchase you missed today at a good price. In art, magical thinking always works for those who believe strongly enough...
The action pursued here by the artist is very much based on this one... because to sell or not to sell is really not his problem today, and you have understood this perfectly well.... Goodbye !




Fred Forest has a special place in contemporary art. Both by his personality and by his pioneering practices which mark his work. He is mainly known today for having used one by one most of the communication media that have appeared over the last fifty years. He is co-founder of three artistic movements: those of sociological art, the aesthetics of communication and ethics in art.

He represented France at the 12th São Paulo Biennale (Communication Prize) in 1973, at the 37th Venice Biennale in 1976 and at Documenta 6 in Kassel in 1977.