UPDATE: Steve Turner Gallery responds–> http://www.twocoatsofpaint.com/2014/08/steve-turner-gallery-responds-to-post.html
Remember “Flip City,” Jonas Lund’s June solo exhibition at Steve Turner in LA that featured a series of process-based abstract paintings created as flip bait for speculator-collectors?
[Image at top: Flip City 18, 2014, digital painting on canvas, gel medium and GPS tracker, 50 x 40 inches.]
The paintings were outfitted with GPS tracking devices so that the sales of each generic-looking painting in the secondary market could be tracked “in the years to come.” Lund set up a website where the documentation would be publicly posted. The Terms of Ownership for each painting were as follows:
1. This work is part of “Flip City,” a 2014 series by Jonas Lund which consists of forty paintings.
2. Each work has attached to it a GPS tracking device which will identify the general location of the work (city, zip or postal code and country).
3. The Artist will maintain a website which will include images of all forty paintings as well as the current general location of each work. He will regularly update the website to account for any changes of location.
4. By purchasing this work, Buyer explicitly agrees to all of the terms of ownership herein described and that he/she will not tamper with nor remove the GPS tracking device.
5. As the GPS tracking device runs on a lithium battery that has a finite life span (it is supposed to last up to three years), Buyer agrees to cooperate with Artist should the battery need to be replaced.
6. Buyer agrees to inform a subsequent Buyer that the GPS tracking device is an integral part of this work.
7. Buyer agrees to inform a subsequent Buyer that he/she must register his/her ownership with Artist at flip-city.net for the express purpose of replacing the battery when necessary.
8. Should Buyer or subsequent Owner consign this work to an auction, the consignor is obligated to inform the auctioneer that the work is to be sold with the following condition included in the catalogue description: “The buyer of this lot is obligated to register his/her ownership with the artist (Jonas Lund) at flip-city.net and agrees to the terms of ownership as stamped on the back of this painting and on the Certificate of Authenticity.”
9. These terms apply to each successive Owner of this work.
Jonas Lund, Flip City 28, 2014, digital painting on canvas, gel medium and GPS tracker, 50 x 40 inches.
In the LA Times
, Christopher Knight suggested that without primary sales at the exhibition and secondary sales at the auctions,
Flip City” could be flop city. So the waiting installation is a kind of aesthetic black hole, sucking all the energy from the room. A kind of Digital Age version of Jean Tinguely’s “Homage to New York,” a 1960 sculpture designed to self-destruct in the garden of the Museum of Modern Art, the possibility of self-obliteration might be this work’s most compelling feature.
Was Lund serious about the project or was it simply a conceptual ploy? I checked back in at the “Flip City” website this week to see whether any paintings had sold. I got the 404 error–page not found. A Google search revealed, however, that a new site
had been set up, so it appears that Lund is indeed following the idea through. Paintings 3 and 18 are now located in Signal Hill, Paintings 28 and 29 are in West Hollywood, and the remaining 36 are still at the gallery. I imagine we’ll all get a another chance to see (and buy) them at the art fairs in the coming year.
“Jonas Lund: Flip City,” Steve Turner, Los Angeles, CA. June 5 -July 3, 2014.
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