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 1930s and early 50s, research 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 1950s. 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 their 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.
Solo for Rich Man by Beatrice Gibson is presented in association with LUX.
Bumps and Babes
Thursday 28 July 2016, 2–3 pm
Thursday 25 August 2016, 2–3 pm
If you are pregnant or have a baby or pre-schooler, come to NN to see the exhibition with your bump or babe and meet others for a coffee and finger painting. Wear clothes to get messy in!
Saturday 6 August 2016, 2–4 pm
NN hosts the Crit Group for artists at all stages of their career to come together to discuss their work in progress by artists for artists. This Crit Group will begin with Featured Artists who will present short introductions to their practice followed by Q&A.
Booking essential. Book your free place here.
From Art to Commerce
Wednesday 10 August 2016, 7–9 pm // Starting up a business
Saturday 13 August 2016, 11am–1 pm // Managing cash flow
Wednesday 24 August 2016, 7–9 pm // Tax for beginners
Especially for The Money Show a short series of practical workshops for anyone wanting to work self-employed or build a business in the arts run by Tracey Clarke.
Booking essential. Book your free place here.
Jewels of Greyfriars
20 August 2016, 2 pm
The Jewels of Greyfriars by Sayed Sattar Hasan will be launching in NN Shop. Click here for the trailer.