Starting from this anecdote from the annals of art history – in which the collector
is presumed to have been literally killed by a piece from his collection – the
ramifications of Vollard’s death are spun into a narrative weave of a biographical
nature through the testimony of three individuals: Jean-Paul Morel, journalist,
philosopher and Vollard’s biographer; Catherine Geens, art historian and
researcher; and Dominique Forest, a French sculptor.
The tale is filled out by a visit to the scenes where the event unfolded, from Rue
Martignac in Paris to the small town of Tremblay-sur-Mauldre by way of Versailles
The resulting video leans heavily on the structures of the documentary genre to
illustrate a dark episode where art, death, greed and remembrance intertwine
in the fate of an art dealer and collector whose work contributed in no small
measure to the art market system as we now know it, and whose priceless
collection is today spuriously dispersed across numerous public institutions
and private collections.
Today, not even the grave where his remains lie bears Vollard’s name.