New Year, 2019, best wishes, good intentions and old tasks – again the accounts have to get accomplished. Way after the deadline, as usual.
Lothringer13 Halle dedicates time and space to the omnipresent and essential: money. Yes, money, money money, or as Rolf Dieter Brinkmann* once spat in a recorded statement: „Immer mit dem Scheissgeld, immer Probleme mit dem Scheissgeld…“. In that sense, we focus on the hidden and suppressed and follow the stultifying or inspiring routines when the self-employed and se(lf)xploitated have to strip down the value of their work to numbers and lists.
This exhibition unfolds the impact of bashful book-keeping home performances and similar borderline activities within a money-focussed and bureaucratic social system.
The moment of poetry in orderliness and the despair within a mess is the atmospheric background-noise of this group exhibition.
While cultural budgets are spent conserving existing cultural facilities, most artists themselves have to see how they make ends meet, make a living, make sense and make make make. Olympicish competitions on grants and fundings sparkle on the horizon. Blurry perspective, but fair enough that the monetary debacle must be properly managed, documented and recorded. Administration and clerical functioning itself remains beyond dispute, a civic duty in rational times. Feel free to face and file the fiscal fiasco.
So what about the values and merits in a work field that is framed and characterized by record sums for (dead) artists work, romantic images of the impoverished free artist and statistics on precarious economic artists realities? The role of artists is chameleon-like determined by the environment – as a bohemian, provocateur, jester, philosopher or celebrated star and investment source. All artists know that splits, where desperation and success are equally suspicious and debated in the system of professional individualists. Nerve system oscillate between conflicted twosomes: credit and credits, dispo and disco, poverty and poetry, lamination and lamentation, formal and form etc.
Jahresausgaben sounds out the comedy in everyday life of handling all these tasks. Introvert meditation on home-banking and filling binders with invoices and deductions becomes absurd and painful for some, while playful or therapeutic to others. One can find clear or subtle traces of how money, shitmoney, and management are an ambivalent part of artists practice and struggle.
The personal small financial crisis is likely to be experienced within a bigger perverted situation of turbocapitalism, speculation and the insane global distribution of wealth. This contorts real problems of indigent western artists into seemingly luxury-problems. Fundamental uncertainty as common ground. Artists react in various ways about their situation and status in a neoliberal capitalist atmosphere. If activists project or private withdrawal, most mindsets balance between career and capitulation. Currently, there seems to be a growing consciousness about the absurd and ambivalent financial structures a distribution in creative businesses and the need to change the settings.