The NFT enters the museum in force

NFTs officially arrive at three museums in France and Italy, exhibited in their physical form. The first official recognition for encrypted digital art.

Until then, the institution had been reluctant. But now three serious museums are exhibiting the work of two high-profile digital artists who work with NFTs. Recall that NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are digital certificates of ownership registered in a sustainable and secure way on the blockchain (encrypted information storage technology). They are considered the ideal solution to the problem of reproducibility for digital creation. In March 2021, the American Beeple (born in 1981) made headlines by selling at Christie's for the equivalent of $ 69 million a compilation of 5,000 images of his digital creations.

In 2021, the same created what is called a "phygital" work (both digital and physical): in a kind of oscillating aquarium, consisting of four rectangular screens, "Human One" depicts an astronaut walking in a setting in perpetual metamorphosis, remotely guided by its author. The work, exhibited at the Castello di Rivoli, near Turin, evokes in its imagery "The Man Who Walks" by Giacometti. It is presented next to a portrait of Francis Bacon from 1956-1957 and not far from a futuristic work by Giacomo Balla dating from 1915.

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, who is the head of the Piedmontese Museum, strongly believes in this: "In Bacon's painting as in Beeple's sculpture, there is a kind of existential box in which the character is enclosed. Do you think Andy Warhol was accepted when he presented his Campbell's Soup Cans?»

New hearings

At the Centre Pompidou-Metz, in the nave, the director, Chiara Parisi, will soon exhibit "Machine hallucinations, dream of nature", a work accompanied by an NFT that takes the form of a gigantic installation by the Turkish artist based in Los Angeles Refik Anadol (born in 1985): 100 m2 of moving images composed of a synthesis of public data on nature, recomposed using artificial intelligence.

Last November, the MoMA in New York already brought Anadol to its site but without buying him a piece or entrusting him with a physical space in the museum. "He's rolling out the technology in a new direction," says Michelle Kuo, curator at MoMA. We are looking for new audiences.»


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At the Strozzi Palace in Florence, not far from the sublime exhibition dedicated to the Renaissance sculptor, Donatello, there is also a Beeple and an Anadol. Visitors are as if hypnotized in front of the latter who plays while sinuosities with the illusions of depths and matter. "We want to show new things," concludes director Arturo Galansino, who is not ready to commit to the future of the two artists' careers.

Beeple at Rivoli Castle, near Turin.
Beeple at Rivoli Castle, near Turin.DR



Expressions with fractions.Until September 25.

Refik Anadol.From June 11 to August 29.

Let's go digital.Until July 31.


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