NARS Foundation Juried Solo Exhibition 2012 - Denis Beaubois

March 15 – April 14, 2013
12 – 5PM

NARS Foundation Juried Solo Exhibition 2012

Currency Denis Beaubois

March 15 – April 14, 2013

Opening Reception: Friday, March 15, 6 – 8 PM

Artist Talk: Friday, March 15, 7 PM

How much is an hour of your time worth and what is the worth of each dollar you make? In a period of financial flux, and in an economy that is arguably partial to a percentage of the work force, we are challenged to question how value and our values quantify and define one another.

In light of these questions, the NARS Foundation is delighted to announce its second annual Juried Solo Exhibition, Currency, featuring a multidisciplinary project by artist Denis Beaubois. Beaubois was selected by Benjamin Genocchio, Editor-in-Chief of Art + Auction Magazine and Reflecting on his work, Genocchio states:

I was struck immediately by the universal pertinence of this work– it spoke to me, across borders, time, about the economic determinism of our age, maybe of all ages, but something that felt especially relevant given the global financial crisis and ensuing recession. I was curious to know more about the work which essentially involves a manipulation of registers of value for both art and money.

Currency is a piece with international roots that is presented at a poignant moment in the national dialogue about the weight of economy and labor. At the recent State of the Union address, Barack Obama’s proposed minimum wage increase initiated a shift in our iteration of employment exchange and worth. The initial conception of Currency hinged on a successful grant of $20,000 from the Australian Council for the Arts. New bills were sourced and the cash, in the amount of the grant funds, was then auctioned off at a fine art auction house. Proceeds from the sale were used to complete the Division of Labor series, a 35-hour recording of five participants maintaining a smile over the course of 7 hours. They were paid minimum wage for their efforts, and were not informed about the nature of the project beforehand. A new series in the project will be introduced at the exhibition’s Opening Reception.

Beaubois’ examination of the artistic practice in dialogue with our monetary system is a sobering play on the notion of creative stimulus. A government funded art project has generated an opaque product, and the outcome is, unto itself, an alternative economic narrative. It quietly experiments with a grassroots exchange system that is imbued with power and virtue to (re)produce the principles of commerce. In doing so, Currency redirects the intentional flow of money and brokers new socioeconomic engagements. Ultimately, our understanding of the value of a work of art, and the worth of a day’s work, is fractured with paradoxical and conceptually rigorous proficiency.

Denis Beaubois is a process-based artist living in Sydney, Australia. He has exhibited internationally, including at The TATE Modern, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney. He has received numerous awards, most notably the 1998 Bonn Videonale, and the Judges special prize for the Internationaler Medien kunst preis 2001, ZKM. He currently lectures in video art at the College of Fine Arts UNSW.

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