press release

The Foundation for Visual Arts Middelburg (Stichting Beeldende Kunst Middelburg) presents the exhibition In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity in Art in De Kabinetten van De Vleeshal, Zusterstraat 7, Middelburg. It opens on saturday 10 september at 4 p.m. As part of the exhibition a publication will be presented.

At 5 p.m. there will be a symposium in De Vleeshal, with curators Susan Hapgood and Cornelia Lauf and with special guests Seth Siegelaub and Daniel McClean.

Free Admission

‘Certificates of authenticity are a critical aspect of art works today’

Certificates of authenticity are a critical aspect of art works today. They often even embody the artwork itself, while referring to it, serving as its deed, legal statement, and fiscal invoice. Certificates by artists validate the authorship and originality of the work and they allow the work of art to be positioned in the marketplace as a branded product-no matter how immaterial or transient that product may be. Whereas the inherent importance of any given work of art should be self-evident to the connoisseur’s eye, certificates point the focus elsewhere, and prove that material or aesthetic qualities in an object sometimes do not suffice in constituting the work of art. In our globalized, capitalist present, the certificate and its implications about artistic thinking have become an instrument of business nterprise, as well as a philosophical statement about the nature of an artwork. Certificates have legal and ontological implications that make them fascinating documents of changing attitudes toward art and the role of artists.

Providing examples of artists’ certificates from the past fifty years, this exhibition will reveal how roles have shifted and developed, as well as how the materials and content of art have changed too. Concise didactic texts will assist the viewer in contextualizing each inclusion in the presentation. Ranging from the most official looking printed documents, with their imprimatur of institutionalization, to dashed-off notations that perform the same definitive function in constituting and defining the parameters of a given art work, this exhibition will interest a broad swath of audiences, ranging from art aficionados to lawyers, students to aesthetes.

In Deed
Certificates of Authenticity in Art

Ruben Aubrecht, Judith Barry, Robert Barry / Stefan Brüggemann, Hemali Bhuta / Shreyas Karle, Pierre Bismuth, Marinus Boezem, George Brecht, Daniel Buren, Andre Cadere, Marcel Duchamp, Maria Eichhorn, Urs Fischer, Dan Flavin, Andrea Fraser, Liam Gillick, The Felix Gonzales-Torres Foundation, Hans Haacke, Edward Kienholz, Yves Klein, Joseph Kosuth, Sol Le Witt, Ken Lum, Piero Manzoni, Gordon Matta-Clark, Josiah McElheny / Allan Kaprow, Jonathan Monk, Robert Morris, Antoni Muntadas, Yoko Ono, Cesare Pietroiusti, Adrian Piper, Emilio Prini, Robert Projansky / Seth Siegelaub, Raqs Media Collective, Robert Rauschenberg, Sharmila Samant, Joe Scanlan, David Shrigley, Daniel Spoerri, Haim Steinbach, Superflex, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Ben Vautier, Lawrence Weiner, Franz West, Ian Wilson, Cerith Wyn Evans, Carey Young, Andrea Zittel, Heimo Zobernig.

Susan Hapgood, Cornelia Lauf