International colloquium: “The irRESPONSIBILITY of the Artist”

Alberto Sorbelli, Confessions, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.

Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris
International colloquium:
"The irRESPONSIBILITY of the Artist"

Wednesday, April 27–Thursday, April 28, 2016

Beaux-Arts de Paris
Palais des Beaux-Arts
13 quai Malaquais

More than ever before, the question of the artist's responsibility—personal, social, political—is a key issue. Hardly a week goes by in the art world without a scandal, an act of vandalism, a matter of censorship or self-censorship making the front page of the newspapers. At a time when the polemic concentrates on preserving freedom and its fundamentals, the freedom of expression and freedom of creation, artists are often taken as a target and singled out, not only when they intervene in the public space but also for what they show in the so-called "dedicated" space of the museum.

It is quite naturally the duty of Beaux-Arts de Paris today to invite artists and intellectuals of all origins and all horizons to reflect together on the multiple implications of the notion of responsibility in art. A colloquium deliberately titled "The irRESPONSIBILITY of the artist" (the title assumes that creators can claim an exceptional status, but also that this status can be debated...) will assemble personalities from across the world to discuss before a broad public the considerable stakes of art in a society that, in a certain way, never ceases to defy it. This debate will be open, evidently inclusive in its format—one does not expect the speech of artists, who share the ability to invent particular answers to unprecedented questions, to be academic.

Responsibility is a contingent notion, subject to historical evolution and cultural dynamics. Certainly, the artist can create islets of resistance, but he can also see himself used by power, all powers. His place in a globalised space where conflict is multiplying, where a dominant market sometimes confuses sense and market value, should perhaps be redefined. Must one invent a new paradigm for the artist? It is one of the hundred complex questions that will be treated during a colloquium that doesn't pretend to exhaust its subject, but to daringly and rigorously renew a reflection, the urgency of which everyone is aware.

With: Olivier Christin, Luc Tuymans, Agnès Thurnauer, Pascal Convert, Gerhard Merz, Peter Lewis and Lisa Lefeuvre, Jalal Toufic, Alexandre Kazerouni, Joann Sfar, Fabienne Brugère, Xu Bing, Olivier Blanckart, Claire Fontaine, Erik Bulatov, Igor Sokologorsky and Iouri Albert, Alberto Sorbelli, Adel Abdessemed and Hélène Cixous

Programme and registration

Beaux-Arts de Paris is a member of Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) Research University.