Hire beggar for a contemporary art fair, 2015


In Recrute mendiant/SDF pour une foire d’art contemporain (Hire beggar for a contemporary art fair, 2015), Yao investigates on the circulation of wealth within art fairs and goes towards the only missing participants from the public event: the beggar who has been hired in the streets of Marseille with a shortterm contract for them to play their own role. Like in a casting, the artist-employer displaces the hiring space of the office to the exhibition space while engaging a process of negotiation and selection of possible candidates with a list of criteria (appropriate conduct within the privatized space) and a list of conditions (purchase of the comedian/performer status through the short-term contract), and according to the availabilities of the candidates. By creating the status of the beggar-employee, the artist-employer transports the audience into a theatre of the real in the same as it was sung in the prelude of The Threepenny Opera by Brecht: "beggars beg (…)*", artists artistize, curators curate, dealers deal with, and collectors collect".


texte by Veronica Volentini


*Bertolt Brecht, L’Opéra de quat’sous, Édition L’Arche, 1997

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