A “How To” for the Precarious Subject

“Crises hit home in late capitalism, making individuals and society subject to the perpetual change of economic parameters. One of few consistencies, one might think, is art. A rather idealistic notion, considering that, ever since Dutch painting was issued as stock capital, art is known to not only function as a vehicle for symbolic or representative values, but also for financial ones. Today, billion-dollar deals are lobbed across an art market that, in the age of social media and the introduction of non-fungible tokens, increasingly tries to detach itself from its pesky material and human side effects – the artwork and the artist. Virtual flows of capital oust the collective experience of reality in the white cube, while poetry is rewritten with figures. The objective of this mercantile nihilism is to create pure representation without content: it is the era of the influencer.”

—Lona Gaikis.

Forthcoming in WORK – CYCLE – BODY: 10 YEARS BARBIS RUDER. Edited by Madeleine Frey (DE/EN). Published by edition Die Angewandte/de Gruyter.

Header image: Barbis Ruder, Wertschöfpfungskette (1A – Ring) (2013). Photography: Ana Vasof.