Although we don't like to talk about it, it's hard not to speculate, when purchasing the work of a living artist, if the work will be worth more once the artist shuffles off the mortal coil. Tasmanian millionaire David Walsh takes that speculation to a new level by buying the life of an artist. He has entered a unique arrangement to film an artist's entire life until he dies. The French artist Christian Boltanski will be filmed 24 hours a day in his Paris studio. The Herald Sun reports
that the video will be streamed live to Walsh's $70 million Museum of Old and New Art once it opens in 2011. Boltanski will be paid a fee until he dies so the longer he lives, the better a deal it is for him. Boltanski is currently 65. Boltanski has called the deal a game, to win he must stay alive at least eight years. Walsh is essentially gambling that he won't. Filming began yesterday.
Another article goes deeper into the terms of the agreement.
Apparently if Boltanski dies within the first two years during the project, Walsh will pay Boltanski's next of kin a discounted price for the footage in installments over eight years. But should Boltanski live beyond the eight years, Walsh will pay full price. Should Boltanski die before the eight years the footage goes to Walsh but if he lives then it belongs to him. Boltankski wants to prove to Walsh, who says he never loses a bet, that no one can beat the odds all the time. In an earlier AFP piece, Boltanski said that Walsh told him he would die before the eight years are up because he never loses and while Boltanski conceded that he doesn't take the best care of himself he still is willing to bet with the man he calls a devil.