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Ludovic Chemarin©

France Born in: 2011
In 2011, the artists Damien Beguet and P. Nicolas Ledoux purchased contractually the work and the name of the artist Ludovic Chemarin, after he decided to put an end to his career. Since then, they continue his work under the name Ludovic Chemarin© who exhibits in France and abroad, takes part in conferences, gives interviews, and is the subject of research and articles.

Ludovic Chemarin© is a new project, never seen before in art history, subversive and radical, questioning the limits of the law and challenging the use and practices of contemporary creation in an artistic context in crisis.
Both project & artist, artist & project, Ludovic Chemarin© examines the fundamental notions of art: the status of the author, the definition of an original work, the value of a signature or of the artist’s gesture, but also the various steps and processes of creation: conception, production and monetization.

Resolutely conceptual and juridical, this critical approach, in line with artists such as Marcel Broodthaers or Philippe Thomas, is voluntarily integrated in the official space of art, a necessary experimenting field for producing artworks according to protocols and specific declinations.

But who is Ludovic Chemarin? Or yet better, would it be more correct to ask: What is Ludovic Chemarin©?
In her text Ludovic Chemarin©: artiste ge?ne?tiquement modifie?1, Raphae?le Jeune clarifies this and explains the successive stages that led to the creation of the entity Ludovic Chemarin©. The status of the object to identify is announced in the introduction of her article, it’s the “artwork-artist-trademark”. This “branded creature” is a product imagined by two artists. Their starting point was nothing less than to purchase another artist together and to continue his work in his place.

A mission statement was defined by the both of them in order to research the ideal artist, as if they were seeking a bankrupt company. But how can one become the owner of an artist? The aim is not to buy the human being, but his auctoriality, which is his status and qualities as an artist, his creative power. “In order to achieve their goal, Damien Beguet and P. Nicolas Ledoux had to resort to contractual subterfuges and an ingenious hybridization of copyright and industrial property right”, explains Raphae?le Jeune.

Here’s how they proceeded: “Once the ideal artist had been found and identified as Ludovic Chemarin, he – Ludovic Chemarin – registered a trademark under his name at l’Institut national pour la Proprie?te? industrielle - INPI (the National Institute for Industrial Property), before assigning it over to Damien Beguet and P. Nicolas Ledoux. The same way, but in the framework of copyright, Chemarin wrote his economic rights over to Damien Beguet for each artwork, most of them remaining only as photographic archives. Then, Damien Beguet, on his turn, signed over to P. Nicolas Ledoux 50 % of these same rights. Once these procedures had been accomplished, Damien Beguet and P. Nicolas Ledoux could finally use, under the trademark Ludovic Chemarin©, the artistic identity of Ludovic Chemarin, by reactivating his previous artworks and by making new ones.”

This way, the artist has become in fact a brand that should be promoted and be profitable. Damien Beguet and P. Nicolas Ledoux pinpoint here a going concern issue sustained by number of artists who are overwhelmed by the current globalized art market. Philippe Cazal, who has published with mfc-miche?le didier an artwork entitled Factice in 1995, had already considered this since the eighties, when he ordered from Minium Agency his Philippe Cazal logo, two black and white joined rectangles revealing the artist’s name in negative. mfc-miche?le didier is definitely interested in “artists of brands”.
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