Les Peintres, 2013-2014
Commissioned reproductions of a lost painting, booklets, film for the web, fly-posted stickers. Reproductions: various media, various dimensions. Booklet: digitally printed, stapled, 28 x 21 cm, 16 pages, eng, open edition. Film: single-channel video on YouTube, stereo, 92’ 40’’.
Dr. Les Sachs is a writer and journalist whose official website was removed from the Google search engine, after he was convicted of defamation in the US, in a legal proceeding he claims was fraudulent. In 2004 he took refuge in Europe where he has tried to make his story public. When I contacted him, he told me about a painting he had found at a tram stop, kept in his apartment for a while, and eventually took to the lost property office. I then asked several image-creators - amateurs and professional visual artists, designers, illustrators, street painters, comic authors and so forth - to create a version of that painting on the basis of its verbal description. The film It’s Easier to Fool the People than to Convince the People They Have Been Fooled, published on YouTube, is based on the audio recording of our first and only meeting. Dr. Les Sachs’ words were automatically transcribed and re-typed in Google. The first images that came up at each sentence were selected and sequenced together. The title of the film comes from an internet meme, a quotation often misattributed to Mark Twain.