The leitmotif is inspired by the fairy tale “Hans in Luck” by the Brothers Grimm. Although Hans loses the piece of gold, which he received as pay for his years as an apprentice, during the course of a number of exchanges, in the end he is as happy as never before and feels relieved of a great burden. The exhibit focuses on how we go about assigning a value to objects and items.
The art world has always had a special relationship to the world of capital. The proximity to the moneyed world means power, influence and prestige. The male and female artists of the avant-garde of the 20th century, in particular, distanced themselves intentionally from the market and created aesthetic products and situations that defy their being marketed and fight against the fetish character of the goods. The exhibit “Hans in Luck” ranges from the Fluxus movement with works by Robert Filliou, Dieter Roth, Ben Vautier and Daniel Spoerri up to the present day. Contemporary works that deal with the experience of value and the belief in a currency are at the centre. This can mean present-day currencies or the barter transactions of times gone by.
In his video presentation, the participant of the Greek Biennale, Stefanos Tsivopoulos, refers to the current crisis in his homeland and recalls alternative barter systems: aspects of poverty and plenty become visible as a global phenomenon. The Romanian artists Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmus, who were celebrated at the 2013 Biennale, designed a performance especially for the exhibition that poses the question of the societal value of art and its addition of value on the art market. They turn the static materiality of famous pieces of art into immaterial interpretations that manifest themselves only in the movement of their bodies.
With the “You and me shop” of the Japanese Fluxus pioneer Takako Saito, the museum’s space becomes a place of trading: the borders between the museum and everyday daily life become blurred. The Slovenian artists collective IRWIN exposes in a subversive and humorous manner the processes and methods of the art market and presents the correlations between the individual signature and the price of art that rationally are hardly comprehensible. The exhibit puts up for discussion the inevitable intertwining of art and capital from various perspectives.