7ª sessió del seminari de recerca CECUPS 2021/2022: Alain Quemin

Línia de recerca
Sala de reunions, Departament de Sociologia (Diagonal 690, torre 4, 1º planta, sala 4115) i online via zoom
Alain Quemin

The aim of my most recent book, Le monde des galeries. Art contemporain, structure du marché et internationalisation, which was published in French at the end of 2021 by CNRS Editions, is to better understand what a contemporary art gallery really is, how it works and how it can play a central role in the creation of art value. To that intent, several methods were combined, among which ethnographic field work that was associated with a very high number of (mostly informal) interviews but also original quantitative data (especially rankings of galleries) that was produced specifically for the purpose of the book. In the whole book, the analysis was enriched by my “privileged” double observatory position: as a sociologist who has been a specialist of contemporary art for more than twenty years now; as a journalist who specializes in the art market and as an art critic for ten years. This second (double) position gave me an exceptional role as a participating observer as I have been constantly invited by art galleries and became associated to the functioning of the social world that I could simultaneously observe. Thus, I could become a proper insider, the presence of whom was no more perceived as exterior. This is precisely how I could easily gather numerous sequences of observations and make very many informal interviews. This abundant ethnographic material was constantly mobilized to enrich the analyses of the book. In my presentation at CECUPS, I would like to insist on the methodological aspects of the research.