Team Gallery is pleased to present Golden Eggs, a group exhibition organized by Alissa Bennett. Featuring the work of Alex Bag, Cristine Brache, Chivas Clem, Jessica Diamond, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Hans Haacke, Barbara Kruger, Bjarne Melgaard, John Miller and Banks Violette, the show will run from 23 June through 12 August, 2016. Team Gallery is located at 83 Grand Street, on the ground floor.
The title, Golden Eggs, is taken from volume one of Marx’s Das Kapital, in which he describes the progenerative potential of capital: “Because it is value, it has acquired the occult quality of being able to add value to itself. It brings forth living offspring, or, at the least, lays golden eggs.” This exhibition applies this principle to the contemporary art market, presenting works that engage actively with the capitalist phenomenon of endowing certain objects with the power to autonomously generate revenue, rendering them self-contained units of profit production.
Of especial significance to the metaphor of the golden eggs is their lack of inherent or utilitarian value – an aspect that finds particular resonance when applied to the buying and selling of contemporary art. The monetary value of fine art, like that of precious metals or gemstones, is not linked to any concrete benefit, but is instead dictated by transient opinions and circumstances. The arbitrary reality of the art market is explicated by its accelerated tempermentality; the practices of speculative collectors – in search of their own “golden eggs,” – beget predictable patterns of frenzy, overvaluation and subsequent commercial rejection, as well as perpetually unstable financial situations for artists.
The exhibition’s participating artists share in a caustic antipathy towards contemporary capitalism, in particular its tendencies to exploit, suppress and manipulate, to commodify creativity and extinguish individualism. The dehumanizing effect of corporate advertisement is central to the show, providing the works with both subject matter and an expressive vocabulary. With an encompassing hostility directed at all levels of art market participation – from collectors and dealers to curators and the artists themselves – these pieces dismantle the oxymoronic myth of consumer choice, and the false conflation of economic patronage with personal identity.
These artists’ overt aggression towards the market stems from the conviction that capitalism is predatory and violent in nature, vampirically preying upon the body and mind of the individual.