Global trade and identity, as part of Foreign Investment (2011)
Performance and other types of live presentation ( iv.)
Kulturbyrået Mesén and Gallery Format, Oslo, Norway and Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester
Artists’ group Foreign Investment were invited by Kulturbyrået Mesén in Oslo and the Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester to develop performances and exhibitions that engaged new multicultural audiences. The projects Oslo Gold-Exchange and Everything must go examined society’s relationship with exchange values and asked ‘What commercial and emotional role does gold play in a contemporary up/recycling culture?’
Developing the socially and architecturally engaged practice of groups such as Superflex or WochenKlausur, Foreign Investment specifically question and challenge the established routes of commerce and transaction by disrupting them through acts of hospitality and generosity.
As a founder member of Foreign Investment I was project leader through the eighteen-month research and development of both events in which we used gold to enable new cultural audiences to question the value of objects. We did this by creating new conceptual models for experiencing and understanding child labour, globalisation, up/recycling and alchemy.
In Oslo we framed a project that was respectful to the economic nature of the locale, inviting school children to bring in unwanted toys and teaching them to gild these with gold leaf. The new objects were then raffled off at Galleri Format with all profits reinvested into local cultural programmes, demonstrating new creative approaches to up/recycling. In Manchester we invited the public to donate redundant objects that had been manufactured in China. Each item was then gilded, given a new value calculated from production time and minimum pay rates in China and sold back to the public, challenging concepts of art ownership and value. Both projects anchored global cultural processes into the everyday lives of people who had not set foot in a gallery context before. Foreign Investment received a high level of local press for these projects including Oslo TV and stimulus respond.
Newspaper and blog article: http://blog.chinese-arts-centre.org/tag/everything-must-go/ Forgyller gamle leker, Groroddalen.no, 29.10.2010
Article: Everything must go, http://www.stimulusrespond.com/chaos.pdf p64