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Art & Economies

Art & Economies: On Value at Seventeen Gallery

On Value at Seventeen Gallery: 12th Oct – 12th Nov 2011 London

Curated by Gil Leung with artists:  Stuart Baker, Andrea Buettner, Liang & Liang, Charles Lofton, James Richards, and Ben Vickers


VALUE looks at the highs and lows of values’ fluctuating cultural and economic form through the problem of judgment. Between use-value, value for money and moral values, the term remains ambiguous. The process of exchange is itself based upon a propensity for error and difference of opinion, where even currencies are dependent on their commodity status(1).

Such vagueness around how and what we value spurs speculation as well as abuses of labour. This is particularly prevalent in cases where self-subsidised labour is traded at a loss for some form of exposure and theoretical appreciation in value. That value is so unstable and affected by judgement means that the current worth of something is generally either referred to a past market verifier or deferred to a future speculative one. Valuing anything more indeterminate that cannot be measured in some way against these referents becomes a risk. In this sense, how and what we value could be considered a problem of judgment rather than measurement – how we judge ourselves and other things.

From consensual verification to dissenting opposition, fashionable reference to obsolete currency, there is a constant fear of being judged and at the same time a fear of judging. Yet, judgement itself, having an opinion, is also having a voice. Resignation – the giving up of opinion or avoidance of judgement – does not necessarily change conditions for the better but rather perpetuates existing ones. To value without pre-validation, is, in some sense then, to take a radical and also potentially shameful position. One that is less about being right or even wrong but more about speaking up for something that speaks to you.

All works courtesy of the artists. With thanks to LUX, London. Infomation from Seventeen Gallery.

(1)Ricardo, David., On Value, On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, sourced from http://www.econlib.org/library/Ricardo/ricP1.html,’for from no source do so many errors, and so much difference of opinion in that science proceed, as from the vague ideas which are attached to the word value.’

Art & Economies: Pawnshop at Thessaloniki Biennial

ARE YOU AN ARTIST IN NEED OF FAST CASH?

Forget gallery hassles GET CASH NOW! High! Fast! Immediate cash payments!  Come on down today! 

Established by artists Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle in New York in 2008, PAWNSHOP went bankrupt at the beginning of the world financial crises, only to re-open successfully in Beijing and, most recently, at Art Basel.

Structurally, a pawnshop is a short-term loan business, which retains a collateral object (a camera, a ring, a guitar, a gun, and in this case an artwork) in exchange for a cash loan—a small fraction of the object’s value that needs to be repaid with interest within a one-month period. If the owner of the pawned object does not return to collect it and repay the loan + interest within 30 days, the pawnbroker has the right to sell it.

What is of particular interest in pawnshops is the peculiar mixture of the illicit and the desperate, futurity and anticipation. The idea that the object is collateral for cash that might be traded back for the object during a set duration, could be put in other words, that works of art and money are just dancing in a choreography in which they might just circle back and meet again, and cancel each other out, but in fact rarely do.

All profits from PAWNSHOP have been donated to Doctors Without Borders.

PAWNSHOP Inventory:
Lucas Ajemian, Armando Andrade, Florian Aner, Artemio, Michael Baers, Christin Berg, Bik Van Der Pool, Julien J. Bismuth, Chloe Briggs, Mike Bouchet, Svetlana Boym, Francois Bucher, Andrea Büttner, Etienne Chambaud, Herman Chong, Branka Cvjeticanin, William Diaz, NICO DOCKX, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Annika Eriksson, Köken Ergun, Jakup Ferri, Jean-Pascale Flavien, Harrell Fletcher, Iris Flügel, Egan Frantz, Peter Freidl, Jaime Gecker, Carmen Gheorghe, Barbad Golshiri, Sara Greenberger-Rafferty, Antonia Hirsch, Klara Hobza, Ralf Homann, Sejla Kameric, Matt Keegan, Christoph Keller, Staš Kleindienst, Runo Lagomarsino, Andriana Lara, Annika Larsson, Sebastjan Leban, Kit Lee, David Levine, Liz Linden, Nuno daLuz, Rodrigo Mallea Lira, Lucas Moran, Gean Moreno, Shane Munro, Sina Najafi, Trine Lise Nedreaas, Carsten Nicolai, Lisa Oppenheim, Ernesto Oroza, Bernardo Oritz Campo, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Marion von Osten, Olivia Plender, Bettina Pousttchi, Khalil Rabah, Manuel Raven, Fay Ray, Joseph Redwood-Martinez, Anri Sala, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Julia Scher, Jessica Sehut, Matt Sheridan Smith, Aaron Simonton, Shelly Silver, Lucy Skaer, Michael Smith, Nedko Solakov, Francesco Spampinato, Peter Spillman Franz Stauffenberg, Eric Stephany, Martin Stiehl, SUPERFLEX/ COPYSHOP, Jalal Toufic, Andra Ursuta, Gabriela Vainsencher, Costa Vece, Lawrence Weiner, Ana Wolovick, Haegue Yang, Florian Zeyfang, Andrea Zittel

New works by:
Andreas Angelidakis, Uri Aran, Athanasios Argianas, Manfredi Beninati, Carolina Caycedo, Christina Dimitriadis, Jimmie Durham, Irini Karagianopoulou, Apostolos Kotoulas, Nikolaj Larsen, Carlos Motta, Theofanis Nouskas, Angelo Plessas, Mathilde Rosier, Tayfun Serttas, Socratis Socratous, Chryse Tsiota and others.

Forget the market! Forget the fair! Dollar is Low! Recession is Back!
It’s time to shop… PAWNshop!

All information from e-flux.com

Art & Economies: Informality – art, economics, precarity

Exhibition at SMBA (Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam)  14 August – 2 October 2011

The exhibition ‘Informality’ arises from the increasing attention to banking economy and the interest in alternatives to that, an interest also expressed within the arts. The most recent example of this is TimeBank, by Anton Vidokle and Juliete Aranda. The work involves a network of bank branches in art institutions – including Stroom, in The Hague – for which the central ‘currency’ is not money, but time, in the form of ‘Hour notes’ that circulate among the bank’s clients. The artwork, functions as a commentary on a form of capitalism directed (and misdirected) at the banks, here it becomes a form of alternative economy in and of itself. 

Specifically, the exhibition ‘Informality’ focuses on the concept of the informal economy. The informal economy is part of the commercial and service sectors that operate outside the circuit of formal financial transactions –and therefore outside normal banking channels – and is thus hidden from the oversight of the Revenue Service and other governmental institutions that control business and economic affairs. In the West, the informal economy makes up a relatively small part of the total economy: in The Netherlands it is estimated to be about 11%. That is not insignificant; one can think, for instance, of illegal or semi-legal work such as prostitution and domestic help, criminality and fraud, traffic in drugs and people, but also flea markets, EBay, volunteer work and bartering. On other continents, such as Africa and Latin America, but also in former East Bloc countries, the informal economy often makes up the largest part of the total economy.

Artists include:  Marc Roig Blesa, Rogier Delfos, Domestic Workers Union, Matthijs de Bruijne Detour (Marnix de Klerk / NinaMathijsen), Doug Fishbone, Kaleb de Groot, Jose Antonio Vega Macotela and Senam Okudzeto.

Information from the SMBA website and newsletter.

Art & Economies: Everything Must Go

EVERYTHING MUST GO with artist group Foreign Investment

 

 

Everything Must Go is a playful project by the artist group Foreign Investment. This commissioned project for Chinese Arts Centre, takes a highly engaged approach to connect the Centre and the public. Everything Must Go offers a unique experience for visitors to actively involve themselves as suppliers, producers and investors throughout the different stages of the exhibition.

In the first instance, members of the public are invited to participate by donating unwanted consumer objects for an ‘upgrade.’ Then a group of volunteers recruited locally will work with the artists to gold-gild the objects. The final upgraded product will be available for public to purchase in the art sale at the end of the exhibition.

Information from the Chinese Arts Centre website. To visit project information: Everything Must Go or information on Foreign Investment.

Art & Economies: Post-Fordism and its Discontents

Publication: Post-Fordism and its Discontents

How do you rethink the recent transformations of global capitalism in the light of its manifold internal fractures and contradictions? The book Post-Fordism and its Discontents addresses complex connections between culture and economy in order to scrutinise what underpins the logic of late capitalism. Post-Fordist theories have offered a very provocative and illuminating slant on the developments within the new regime of capitalist accumulation. In many ways, this theoretical research challenges mainstream economic and cultural theories.

Contributions by Sergio Bologna, Katja Diefenbach, Gal Kirn, Zdravko Kobe, Gorazd Kovačič, Sandro Mezzadra, Rastko Močnik, Ciril Oberstar, Igor Pribac, Jacques Rancière and Marina Vishmidt.

Editor:  Gal Kirn
From the Jan Van Eyck Academy

Find out more about Iniva project Art at the Intersection: Art and Economies

Art & Economies: Architectures of Finance from the Great Depression to the Sub-Prime Meltdown

Damon Rich: Red Lines, Death Vows, Foreclosures, Risk Structures

The American preference for traditional residential design masks a frightening reality: across the globe, individual buildings have been retrofitted to serve as interchangeable nodes in a vast abstract structure, held loosely together by legal and political restraints, made to allow the furious circulation of finance capital.
An installation of models, photographs, videos, and drawings by artist-designer Damon Rich, Red Lines immerses visitors in a landscape of pulsing capital and liquidated buildings, exploring the relation between finance and architecture.

During a year-long residence at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Rich, founder of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), surveyed the darkening realm of real estate markets: foreclosures, pro-formas, chains of title, block busting, exploding ARMs, and the obscure history of the mortgage.

Damon Rich is an artist and designer. Information from the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies

Art & Economies: Socialism Failed, Capitalism is Bankrupt. What comes Next?

Artist Oliver Ressler – Socialism Failed, Capitalism is Bankrupt. What comes Next?

 

Whilst on a residency in Yerevan as part of the project Eat and Work, Oliver Ressler explored political and economic situations in the Republic of Armenia. The project is a 19 minute film and a two channel video installation. The film was recorded in a market called “Bangladesh” where over 1000 traders try to survive in an economically depressed area, where the traders speak of their pre and post socialist lives. Where in the past the state ensured their basic needs were met, a the new state where all safety nets are gone.

More information on the project and to view the film:  Socialism Failed, Capitalism is Bankrupt. What comes Next?

Social Archive One – Interview with Shiraz Bayjoo

Conversation with Shiraz Bayjoo by Inivator Tara Brown

Last week, I managed to meet with Shiraz Bayjoo to have a conversation about Social Archive One: An Economic Forecast (Shoreditch) and about his practice. The project has been two months in the making, and asks questions about economics, migration, class and society.

Shiraz has also been working with Providence Row for the last ten years, where the first Social Archive was created, collaborating with the homeless community in the area. I started the conversation just asking Shiraz what the social archive was about:

“The main purpose of creating the social archive of Shoreditch is to explore the area – its economic context and the impact of the current economic environment. Social Archive One asks local businesses about the nature of what they do, and their reasons for migrating to the area… all adding up to the social, geographical and physical makeup of the area. It’s not just about people but also about place, the issues of identity and the fracturing of identity, congregating in new places and making new alliances.

It’s an ambitious project in the timeframe allowed with a huge amount of work, researching the area and creating the archive. Because of its scope help is needed from the ‘citizen archiver’, bringing in the voices of people who may or may not know the area. The outcome hopefully is that people realise there’s a strong local community beneath the surface.”

When I asked what he thought about Shoreditch, Shiraz mentioned that side streets were becoming populated because of rising rental prices on the high street, and older businesses such as Syd’s coffee stall (on Calvert Avenue) were experiencing vandalism and are being slowly squeezed out.  Shiraz has also found lots of small lifestyle businesses, all different, some with a lot of image involved but a lot of honesty too.

“Although central London won’t become completely elitist, this social archive would be essential for plotting a pattern from the people who live and work there and where they’re from. The social archive will be online as well. It’s good to have them online – archives are only useful in this context if they are used or analysed by others. You don’t have to be an expert – it’s a very plural and democratic way of keeping an snap shot  of the present. I would like to see others expand and add to them.”

“The Social Archive has become part of my practice, growing into a much bigger scale, but anyone can do it. It is important when non artists do these projects it is a human transaction, a physical act of doing.”

Social Archive One with Shoreditch is not his first collaborative project and when I asked what draws him to this kind of work Shiraz says that his work explores issues of migration, identity, society in a visual way, and it’s important to work directly with people to gather a depth of understanding.

Watch the films here

Art & Economies: Social Archive One

What’s happening in our local community? We found out in Social Archive One



As part of our Art & Economies project, we wanted to focus on our local community. Invia is located in London’s East End in Shoreditch, an area that has seen immigrant groups moving to the area historically. Artists moved in for the cheap rents and this evolved to government introduced regeneration and now the area is well on its way to total gentrification. We invited members of the public and artist Shiraz Bayjoo to become social historians to document local histories and sentiments about the changing economies of the local area on film.

We found a group of leather makers who have been in the area since 1972 to a woman whose family have operated a tea stand since 1919.  Will either of these two firmly established business survive the influx of high end shops to the local area? 

Watch: www.youtube.com/user/InivaArts or www.socialarchiveone.com

Art & Economies: further reading recommendation

The Wal-Mart Phenomenon: Resisting Neo-liberal Power through Art, Design and Theory

Through our research on the subject of economy and how creative practices explore the subject I came across this rather interesting book.  It is from 2008, so published right about the time that a few countries were facing a ‘financial crises’.  The book is edited by Benda Hofmeyr.

Book synopsis from the publisher Jan Van Eyck Academie:
Against the backdrop of Robert Greenwald’s documentary, WAL-MART. The High Cost of Low Pricethis multi-disciplinary yet cohesive volume calls upon intellectual, artistic and cultural producers themselves to oppose the progressive disappearance of the autonomous worlds of cultural production, cinema, publishing, etc., and therefore, ultimately, of cultural products themselves. It seeks to excavate the present-day workings of neo-liberal power and possible strategies of resistance. The contributors focus both on the documentary and artistic media used to reflect upon these phenomena as well as the actual socio-political and economic processes underlying them and following in their wake from the perspectives of art, design and theory (philosophy and social geography). 

To order:  Jan Van Eyck Academie

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