Above: Still: Money (1985), Henry Hills
26 July 2012
Tickets: £6/£4, booking advised (via Whitechapel website)
Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX
LUX and SIM presents a programme of films on the theme of Abstract Capital. The speed of currency flows increase as its material, physical manifestations—as commodity—decrease. Images of consumption flicker on the retina. Within the vortex of money begetting money, the “credit crunch” and economic free-fall, how do artists narrate recent global socio-economic conditions and the anxieties, dangers and seductions raised by the abstracted nature of capital? In other words, how do artists respond to freeze for a moment the economic present in order to gauge its aesthetic and critical possibilities?
The program juxtaposes contemporary films by Claire Fontaine and Zachary Formwalt with those in the LUX collection from the 1980s by Betzy Bromberg, Roland Denning and Henry Hills when trans-Atlantic Neoliberal policies triumphed and what Fredric Jameson terms “actually existing Socialism” deteriorated. Across thirty years, these films resonate to provide a historicized portrait of the present.
Following the screening, artists Roland Denning and Ben Vickers will join SIM in a conversation on the concepts provoked by the films. Denning will reflect on the production of Possession and its translation over thirty years as well as discuss his recently published novel The Beach Beneath the Pavement (2011) on the relationship between fantasy, capitalism and terrorism.
Vickers will contextualize the themes via his research on current artistic praxis of production and survival. In two recent personal essays on sustainability for EdgeRyders—a crowd-sourced think tank joint project between the Council of Europe and the European Commission focusing on subjective and practical experience of young people in Europe in order to produce a shared vision –Vickers articulates the aesthetic and economic issues facing artistic conception, production and reception today. Between squatting and nomadism to developing sustainable alternatives outside of the normative art market, Vickers considers the fall-out of capitalism’s abstract nature.
Betzy Bromberg, Soothing The Bruise, 1980 (16mm film, colour, sound, 21 min)|
Claire Fontaine, Instructions for the Sharing of Private Property, 2006 (Digital video, colour and sound, 10 min extract from 45 min original)
Roland Denning, Possession, UK, 1988 (video, colour, sound, 4 mins)
Zachary Formwalt, unsupported transit, 2011(HD video, colour, sound, 14 min)
Henry Hills, Money, 1985 (16mm, colour, sound, 15 mins)
The programme was curated and developed by SIM, and was selected from a number of proposals from the students of Goldsmiths MFA Curating course. SIM operates as a curatorial office, responding to the contemporary potentialities for art production. SIM is a collaboration between Stephan Tanbin Sastrawidjaja, Natasha Isaacs and Petros Moris. London, 2012 www.officesim.com