Today, Friday 10th February, 2023, the Centre Pompidou announced the accession of its very first collection of NFT artworks. Zien is extremely proud that Agnieszka Kurant's Expanded NFT, Sentimentite, is one of these 17 NFT-based works entering the Pompidou permanent collection. Specifically, Mt Gox Hack, from the Sentimentite chapter Birth of Crypto, has been generously donated by Konstantin Kudryavtsev, a close friend and patron of Zien. Unique within this group of 17 artworks, the Sentimentite donation is an Expanded NFT, comprised of both an ERC-721 NFT and its redeemed physical sculpture, measuring 50cm in length.
The new NFT initiative has been lead by Marcella Lista, Chief Curator of the New Media Collection at the Centre Pompidou. There will be an exhibition at the Centre Pompidou this year, showcasing the new NFT acquisitions, which will situate NFT art in scholarly and art historical terms, and within the Centre Pompidou's existing collection. These are some of the first NFT artworks to enter the permanent collection of a major global institution.
Sentimentite joins over 120,000 artworks from 20th and 21st-century art history, the largest collection in Europe and second richest in the world. Now, Sentimentite sits alongside works from artists including Marcel Duchamp, Frida Kahlo, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois and Hito Steyerl; and joins NFT works from Larva Labs, John Gerrard, Aaajiao, Jonas Lund, Rafeal Rozendaal, and Sarah Meyohas.
The meteoric rise of NFTs has been followed by much discussion about blockchain art’s relationship with institutions, especially major museums. From Zien’s perspective, it’s clear that as custodians of culture and history, museums have a duty to preserve and interpret the foundational objects, ideas and moments from the historical past up to the present day. NFTs, blockchain and Web3 are transforming the relationship of artist to collector, as well as between institutions and audience. The world’s leading museums rightly have the highest standards over the artworks that enter their permanent collections, but nonetheless, the ecosystem that attributes value to artists and artworks is rapidly evolving, not least because of the possibilities enabled by Web3. Zien continues to position to galvanise this transformation.