In the 19th and 20th centuries the Hôtel Drouot was the central auction place in Paris. This means many important art auctions took place there, e.g. the Impressionist sales in the 1870s. Constructed in 1852 it was for more than 100 years one of the central spaces of the Parisian art world, until it was demolished in 1976 and replaced with a new building. With this history, the old space seems to be very qualified for digital reconstruction, for example in one of the French parts of Second Life or OpenSim, or in a scholarly journal of digital art history. In my proposed project I want to publish a 3D reconstruction of the place and then interrogate it by juxtaposing it with historical prints that show the place in use.
I own some published plans from the old building, and a lot of old prints that show the interaction there. In the illustrations a visual discourse on the art market takes shape. The caricatures and genre scenes of the auctions are a virtual reality of the historical art market.
The micro grant would be used to have a 3D model made and then I will publish it on an open repository. This 3D model will then be juxtaposed with a selection of historical prints. This contextualised publication of a 3D reconstruction is meant to encourage debates on the social dynamics of the cultural economies in this historical auction site and also wants to point at the limits of digital reconstruction.