Bringing together someone
involved in the world of art and an economic specialist is one
of the ground rules for our seminar this year.
Simon Njami is well
known for the texts he has written and for the exhibitions he
has organized. We are indebted to him, in particular, for an African
self-definition of Africans’ sense of contemporaneity, freed
from Western criteria. Here, he offers a Deleuzean reading of
the intransigent rules of the international art market.
The economist Philippe
Petit responds to him that as things go for art so do they go
for everything else--with the slight proviso that the economic
world cannot--even if it wanted to--domesticate everything. He
reminds us that the community of economists has a hard time defining
what a market is and how values are formed therein: the art object,
it seems to him, occupies a unique place there, if only because
the value assigned thereto goes far beyond its mere financialization.
A work of art would thus be, according to him, a sort of symbolic
rampart grounded in an empathic dimension open to the problems
of the other, which would make it a favorable site for citizen