27 June 2016
For immediate release
The Money Show
9 July–3 September 2016
Opening Night: 8 July 2016, 6–8pm
Artists: Beatrice Gibson, Goldin+Senneby, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas
The Money Show is a group exhibition bringing together the work of leading international artists Beatrice Gibson (UK), Goldin+Senneby (Sweden) and Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas (Lithuania). Each artwork involves an examination of money, history and an element of construction. The title of the show is itself an act of hubris through its impertinent use of the definite article, aping the bankers, traders and politicians behind the various crashes of modern history. In light of the fall of the pound since the UK’s Brexit vote the question of money, stability and society may feel all the more urgent.
Beatrice Gibson, Solo for Rich Man, 2015
Solo for Rich Man reincarnates American author William Gaddis' avant-garde piece, JR (1975). An eerily prescient, social satire that turns the American dream on its head, JR tells the story of a precocious 11 year-old capitalist who inadvertently creates the single greatest financial empire the decade has seen, spun largely from the invisible confines of the school pay phone.
In Solo for Rich Man, Gaddis’ novel is overlaid onto contemporary London. Working with composer Anton Luckoszevieze and a group of children from east London, the film orientates around an experimental music workshop, inspired by radical educators and composers Brian Dennis and John Paynter. Staged within Shoreditch Adventure Playground, a site rooted to progressive models of learning and delineating a space for risk-taking. The film’s location echoes both the methodology used in its making alongside those deployed in unregulated financial markets.
Goldin+Senneby, The Decapitation of Money, 2010
Goldin+Senneby’s The Decapitation of Money, confronts two historical events from the late 1930’s and early 50s, researched during their residency in Paris. The work includes a map of the Marly Forest, which is where Georges Bataille’s secret society “Acéphale” was meeting around 1937 and notably celebrating Louis XVI’s regicide. It also includes an audio recording from the same forest, with economic geographer Angus Cameron giving a lecture on the history of money while leading a symbolic search for a lightning-struck oak tree around which Acéphale were said to have convened.
Cameron ties Georges Bataille’s notion of the “general economy”, in which potlatch techniques and sacrifice were necessary forms of luxurious consumption, to the birth of the “Eurodollar” in the early 1950’s. The Eurodollar emerged at the very beginning of the Cold War, when Soviet-owned banks in Paris and London were able to set up dollar-denominated accounts that escaped the control of the US Federal Reserve. This changed the very nature of money from a symbolic value to a virtual one. Money entered a new space of exteriority, beyond the control of the sovereign state. Money was decapitated.
Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, KARAOKE, 2001
Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas’ video piece stages a karaoke performance of ABBA`s “Money, Money, Money” by employees of The Lithuanian Savings Bank. In 2001 the bank was the last state owned bank and was privatized by Swedish investors the day after the performance took place.
The piece looks at the “Singing revolution” and how it has brought us capitalism with post-colonialism as a paradoxical consequence of political freedom. Capitalism had a positive reception, because of seductive mundane welfare of the market: chewing gum, bananas, jeans, sex, money and... ABBA. Even without understanding the text, therefore the lyrics (often the essence of the song), inhabitants of the big state have penetrated theirs bodies with rhythms and melodies of a new utopia. The work both problematises the transformation in terms of its subject – commune, individual, society – and questions the necessity of its equation with capitalism.
For more information on the project and NN please visit www.nncontemporaryart.org
Solo for Rich Man by Beatrice Gibson is presented in association with LUX.
Notes to editors:
NN is a contemporary art space in the centre of Northampton.
The Money Show will be accompanied by a series of theoretical and practical events about money, from how to pay tax to a discussion on alternative funding models for the future.
NN is supported by:
Arts Council England
Northampton Borough Council
Northampton County Council
Northampton Community Foundation
The University of Northampton
For further information please contact:
Marketing Assistant, NN, Number Nine Guildhall Road, Northampton NN1 1DP, UK
E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 01604 638944
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of NN Contemporary Art, on Monday 27 June, 2016. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/