Mediums of Exchange
The exhibition Mediums of Exchange reflects on valuation, currencies and economic systems in a world characterised by global crises. The exhibition presents a variety of works, each of which emphasizes economy as a changeable construct that has developed over time and across geographies.
On one wall, porcelain sea snails are mounted in a discreet and simple pattern. The work is named Cypraea moneta after this particular type of shell, which was a widely used currency in Asia, Africa and Oceania from the the 24th century BC and right up to the end of the 19th century AD, when the modern coinage replaced it.
On the back wall, the work Gobelin with tulips is installed on a curtain rod with gilded tulip bulbs as end caps. The motif refers to the Tulip Mania, a period during the Dutch Golden Age when contract prices for bulbs of the recently introduced tulip reached extraordinarily high levels, peaking in 1637, where a house owner in Hoorn is said to have traded his property for three bulbs. Soon after, the skyrocketing prices collapsed, and today the episode is considered the first example of a speculative bubble comparable to modern cryptocurrencies.
There is a dualism at work in Prudence, a work taking the form of a seat cushion placed in the window sill of the exhibition space. The title of the work is also the name of the textile covering the cushion, which is produced for the house of Dior, part of the multinational conglomerate, LVMH, which is owned by the richest person in the world, Bernard Arnault. Here, the conglomerate's luxury goods stand in opposition to the principle of reason and caution, that 'prudence' also translates into.
Finally, the exhibition features three Podiums made from old panels from Danmarks Nationalbank. The function of a podium is to assign value to objects, a mechanism that is central to economic value attribution and one of the main objectives of Danmarks Nationalbank, whose purpose is to ensure stable prices and to support the financial system at all times.
The exhibition Mediums of Exchange is a continuation of Line Sandvand Mergers' artistic practice, where she often include everyday objects and performative elements in conceptual works that revolve around valuation.
Mag art, Matilde Best
The exhibition is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation, Professor Gottfred Eickhoff and Gerda Eickhoffs Foundation,, Aarhus Municipality and the Grosserer L.F. Foghts Foundation.