Conseil juridique et artistique (Legal and Artistic Counsel)


Conseil juridique et artistique / Legal and Artistic Counsel

by Audrey Chan
Paperback, 90 pp, black and white illustrations, French and English text
Translated by Audrey Chan, Michelle Fixot, and David Kerlogot

Now available for purchase on

Book description:

In 2009, American artist Audrey Chan was invited to be an artist-in-residence at the Nantes School of Fine Arts in France. She proposed an artistic investigation of the official portrait of President Nicolas Sarkozy, a subject that sparked debate about the ownership of images and the delicate relationship between politics and art in French law. The project led to a conversation between Chan and Bernard Edelman, renowned French jurist and philosopher and expert on author’s rights. What began as a legal counseling session between the artist and jurist-philosopher evolved into a larger debate about the very meaning of political and conceptual art. Conseil juridique et artistique / Legal and Artistic Counsel features the transcript of their conversation (French with English translation) and illustrations by the artist.


“Conseil juridique et artistique (Legal and Artistic Counsel)”, HD video, French with English subtitles, 2009-10 (1 hour, 21 minutes)


[English] “At the gallery of the School of Fine Arts, Audrey Chan presents an ensemble of stunning propositions including an interview with philosopher and jurist, Bernard Edelman, specialist in authors’ rights. Audrey Chan, American artist in residence at the School of Fine Arts of Nantes, develops a work – artistic or political – that is a critical reflection and engagement with the very materials of the creative process. The passionate interview of Edelman sets up a pointedly absurd discussion between the jurist and the artist. The difference of generation, language, status of the two protagonists, their position and the game played between them (in front of and behind the camera) generates a strange dialogue, addressing the notions of artwork, politics, and censorship. The jurist-philosopher’s certainty of speech and his domineering and constructed politeness stumbles against the hesitant, mischievous, and stubborn voice of the artist, casually demonstrating that art does not bend to any system, no form is forbidden nor locked within any boundary, and does not answer to any definitive definition.”

–Review of the exhibition “NOTES TOWARD AN EXHIBITION : Audrey Chan” by Christophe Cesbron, published in Wik (Nantes, France), Number 76, May 20, 2009

[French] “A la galerie de l’école des Beaux-Arts, Audrey Chan présente un ensemble de propositions épatantes dont une interview du philosophe et juriste Bernard Edelman, spécialiste du droit d’auteur. Artiste américaine en résidence à l’Erban, Audrey Chan élabore une œuvre ou politique, réflexion critique et engagements sont les matériaux même du processus créatif. L’interview passionnante d’Edelman, met en place une discussion aussi pointue qu’absurde entre le juriste et l’artiste. La différence de génération, de langage, de statut des deux protagonistes, leur position et le jeu que se noue entre eux (devant et derrière la caméra) génèrent un étrange dialogue, abordant les notions d’œuvre, de droit, de politique, de censure. La parole sûre, polie construite et dominatrice du juriste-philosophe bute face à la voix hésitante, malicieuse et tenace de l’artiste, démontrant, mine de rien, que l’art ne se plie à aucun système, ne s’interdit aucune forme, ne s’enferme dans aucune frontière, et ne répond à aucune définition définitive.”

–Revue de l’exposition “NOTES TOWARD AN EXHIBITION: Audrey Chan” par Christophe Cesbron, publié dans Wik (guide de divertissement hebdomadaire de Nantes), numéro 76, le 20 mai 2009