Segments in this Video

Artwork Production (02:53)


This film follows Korean artist Lee Ufan, French artist Daniel Buren, and Norwegian artist Marianne Heske throughout the creative process, from the idea stage to the public unveiling. Ufan visited Versailles Gardens several times to create an in situ work.

Contracting Sculptural Production (04:16)

Heske wants to make a large scale doll head in bronze. Chris Butler of the Castle Fine Arts Foundry in Liverpool casts her vision. In Wales, Darrin Fraser makes wax and resin molds for artists to approve before being scaled up.

Installation Logistics (03:12)

Lee Ufan Exhibition Curator Alfred Pacquement says making a work of art is a collective adventure. Ufan's team discovers that tree roots restrict where they can deposit his sculpture in the Versailles Garden; the work must complement the garden's existing architecture. Other contemporary artists to exhibit there include Takashi Murakami and Giuseppe Penone.

Production Team Contributions (02:02)

Ufan says his ideas never turn out exactly as imagined; pieces are adjusted as they are developed. Patrick Ferragne's team assists artists to produce works at Versailles Gardens. They communicate constantly and offer ideas in a collaborative relationship however, the team rarely receives credit.

Creating an In Situ Piece (03:12)

Jean-Claude Laurent contributes ideas for an installation material when working with Daniel Buren at the Strasbourg Museum. Buren makes art for specific sites. He has worked with the same team for 15 years, and is able to do complicated pieces.

Problem-Solving Skills (02:34)

Art production companies must find technical solutions for artistic visions. Ufan's rock collector Gino di Maggio discusses how the artist "converses" with stones. Ufan contrasts them with steel plates representing industrialized society; his ideas were influenced by Japan’s Mono-ha Movement of the late 1960s.

Hosting Contemporary Artwork (02:34)

Versailles art and garden technician Eric Quenea discusses using all of his skills to install Jeff Koons' "Split Rocker." The work has increased his personal interest in art. Art production team members are often artists themselves.

Nordic Conceptual Art (02:58)

Astrup Fearnley Musem director Gunnar Kvaran says most conceptual artists have pieces made by others. He discusses poetic aspects of Heske's work. Heske hired wood artisan Roald Kluge to produce a model cabin made from synthetic resin.

Artistic Ideas vs. Art Production (02:57)

View Heske's conceptual works; some sculptors criticize her for hiring others to produce her pieces, but she says developing concepts is the most work. Kluge sees himself as a craftsman, and does not feel cheated of credit. Heske explains her "Cabin" concept to Jean de Loisy.

Facilitating Artwork Production (02:05)

The Strasbourg Museum commissioned a local company to produce Buren's work resembling giant children's blocks. They consult the artist about a woodwork detail.

Historical Art Production Teamwork (03:00)

Like many contemporary artists, Ufan creates large scale works that require assistance. Even during the Renaissance, works were made through collective participation. Entire painting sections were made by studio apprentices.

Losing Practical Skills (02:32)

Ufan says he acts as a guide for teams installing his works. Heske relies on professionals to cast her large scale work. Many artists use computer programs to do work that they would have done themselves previously.

Art Installation Phase (03:00)

Strasbourg Museum employees place Buren's pieces. If they feel they are contributing to a product that will leave a mark on society, they are more motivated.

Creating Jobs through Art (02:18)

Some Castle Fine Arts Foundry employees are artists that are inspired when producing works for other artists. Other employees are content to make a living as technicians, without receiving credit for their contributions.

Question of Authenticity (02:07)

Heske says the quality of the art object and its message matters, not who made it. Castle Fine Arts Foundry employees are proud of their contribution to her large scale doll head. Renaissance artists used assistants and borrowed ideas from their masters.

Heske's Finished Work (02:09)

Heske's doll head is installed in Torshovdalen Park in Oslo. Robert Jones is happy to work on something that will leave a mark on society. A marching band attends the unveiling.

Ufan's Finished Work (03:49)

Ufan describes the inspiration behind his giant archway. He watches anxiously as a crane operator installs it at Versailles Gardens. The in-house installation team has developed a relationship with artists.

Buren's Finished Work (03:36)

Buren describes ideal qualities for "in situ" installation team members. He trusts people willing to voice their concerns or point out imperfections.

Credits: The Helping Hands Of Contemporary Art (00:46)

Credits: The Helping Hands Of Contemporary Art

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The Helping Hands Of Contemporary Art

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $509.85
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Leading contemporary artists delegate whole sections of the production of their works. Increasingly today, contemporary art is the result of a collective effort. Engineers, designers, architects, artisans, workers, glass-makers, smelters, blacksmiths, coppersmiths, jewelry-makers, “highbrows” and “helping hands”, whether they possess high-tech or ancestral know-how –they all work in the shadows to produce today’s art. This documentary follows the production of three works from conception to completion. These include Korean artist Lee Ufan’s large scale work of boulders and metal sheets installed in the Versailles Palace Gardens; Norwegian conceptual artist Marianne Heske’s giant bronze doll head placed in the Torshovdalen Park in Oslo; and French artist Daniel Buren’s children’s blocks exhibited at the Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL120463

ISBN: 978-1-63521-554-0

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.