A Modest Proposal (in a black box)

Mason, L. 2018. A Modest Proposal (in a black box). Pump House Gallery 03 Oct - 16 Dec 2018

CreatorsMason, L.
CollaboratorsVermeir, K and Heiremans, R
Description

Developed over the past two years, the new work investigates how current approaches to financialisation could be redirected towards a more equitable model by considering the financialisation of public art collections, museum real estate and symbolic capital. In collaboration with financial sector workers, lawyers and academic researchers, the artists are developing a financial model that would benefit not only investors and art institutions, but also the artists and art workers. This would create an ecology where value generated by artistic practices is distributed more sustainably amongst all stakeholders. Seeking to mobilise the main financial asset of Pump House Gallery – the building itself, Vermeir & Heiremans decided to consider the financialisation of the gallery real estate as their case study. How could Pump House Gallery become true to its original design as a 'pump house', leveraging all rising values, both monetary and cultural, that surround it and become a power house for the benefit of the whole art community? In their first UK exhibition since 2009, the artists have developed several exhibition and research elements including video, installation and a display of archival material. The exhibition centres on the financial model, held on a USB stick that is itself enclosed within a 3D-printed metal lattice structure, only reachable should one break the edifice. A promotional video introduces the model and the benefits and opportunities it offers to a variety of stakeholders. Archival material about the Battersea area and the Pump House Gallery building is presented alongside the video to create a parallel narrative about real estate and land speculation in Battersea since the Victorian era. Battersea has seen a vast increase in investment in recent years, and this project seeks to harness the surplus values thus generated and develop a sustainable cycle of value. This raises further questions as to who should receive the return on investment: should it be channelled directly into art institutions and art workers, or re-directed back into a public purse, for use determined by democratic processes? A Modest Proposal (in a Black Box) invites us to consider the dynamics between art and the economy, and the value of culture in between. Supported by Wandsworth Council, Arts Council England, Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation. Produced by Jubilee with the support of the Flemish Community, A/R asbl and Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles

Date03 Oct 2018

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