Photo Henry Roy
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June 17

Conversation: Élisabeth Lebovici introduces Louise Lawler

The Bourse de Commerce is launching a long-term programme of invitations to art historians and intellectuals in connection with the artists whose works are presented in its exhibitions. For this first talk at the Auditorium, Elisabeth Lebovici will discuss Helms Amendment (1989), a photographic installation by the American artist Louise Lawler. A militant piece that denounces a law voted in by the United States Senate that delayed the education and prevention of AIDS in the US.

Elisabeth Lebovici

Elisabeth Lebovici is an art historian and art critic. She was editor-in-chief of Beaux-Arts magazine (1987–1990) and a journalist in the culture section of Libération (1991–2006). Since the 1990s, she has contributed to numerous books, seminars, and colloquiums on contemporary artists, feminism, activism, gender, and queer issues. She edited L’Intime (Paris, ENSBA, 1998) and is the co-author, with Catherine Gonnard, of Femmes artistes/Artistes femmes : Paris, de 1880 à nos jours (Paris, Hazan, 2007). Her book Ce que le sida m'a fait. Art et activisme à la fin du 20e siècle (Zurich, JRP Ringier, “Lectures maison rouge” collection, 2017) was awarded the Pierre Daix Prize 2017. Since 2006 she has co-organized (with Patricia Falguières and Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez) a seminar at the EHESS, “Something You Should Know: Artistes et Product.eur.rice.s.” She is a founding member of the LIG/Lesbiennes d’Intérêt Général endowment fund.

Louise Lawler

Born in 1947, Louise Lawler made her debut in 1978 by presenting a painting of a horse, dated 1883, in a New York gallery. Literally transposed by the artist’s gesture into the context of a gallery, this work leads us to question the economic and social dynamics that determine the status of the work of art and its trajectory. Capturing works of art in their exhibition context, Lawler plays on the value added by framing, ownership, and reproduction. Her approach is linked to the simulationist movement, of which she is one of the leading figures along with Barbara Kruger and Jeff Koons. The series Helms Amendment (1989) is a reaction to the vote in the United States Senate in favour of the 1987 amendment denying funds for AIDS education, the distribution of materials, and prevention of AIDS under the pretext of not encouraging homosexuality.