7 Walks (Revisiting Ernest Gambart)

Online presentation by Vermeir & Heiremans and legal philosopher Luke Mason

12th Annual Critical Finance Studies Conference
27 - 28/08/2020

Watch the video presentation

Critical finance scholars are accustomed to questioning the dominant narratives that surround finance. Often, they challenge the belief that finance could be beneficial to society, if only it were regulated effectively – and if only everyone had sufficient financial knowledge. Shedding light on the limitations of current economic systems, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it all the more urgent to develop critical financial insights, drawing from a range of disciplines: from economics to sociology, accounting, arts and culture, philosophy, and politics, to name a few.

This year, the in-person 12th Annual Critical Finance Studies Conference, which was planned for Goldsmiths, University of London, had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Instead, there will be  an online get-together for critical finance scholars, on the afternoons of 27th and 28th August. This event will include: online keynote sessions by Gargi Bhattacharyya and Annie McClanahan, online panels, and networking sessions.

Vermeir & Heiremans and legal philosopher Luke Mason will be presenting an video/audio paper on their collaborative project 7 Walks. The project questions the absoluteness of property ownership. It argues that understanding property relations in a stratified way could contribute to more sustainable practices to govern natural and artistic resources.

The Belgian city of Spa offers an opportunity to connect the ecology of the arts with a natural commons: water. Four centuries of water management – from the 16th-century water export to its current financialization and monopolisation – form the basis for a reflection on property relations.

Spa towns were the setting to debate political, philosophical and artistic visions. The Belgian art dealer Ernest Gambart was a regular guest in Spa during summer when he organized parties at his Chateau d'Alsa. Gambart brought art and money close together. Mid-19th century he dominated the London art world causing the disruption of the Academy dominated system. Gambart's pioneering commercial gallery practice and his connections with artists, buyers and critics would become a model for how modern art business would be run.

Read more at criticalfinancestudies.org