Economic jargon settles in to make things sound correct by making them sound familiar; it comes to our aid when troubles arise and comforts us with its reasonable-sounding justifications. Like religion, it gives hope and solace, soothes worry and anguish. The doctrine is everywhere, oozing out of academic studies and financial newspapers; ’efficiency’ has become the measure of the everyday, as ’cost-benefit analyses’ guide us to make decisions in the interests of the greatest possible returns.
This logic promises freedom in exchange for leaving things to take their own course: laissez faire, laissez passer. The ’invisible hand’ of the market should ensure that needs and wants are met without any outside intervention or regulation. Yet needs and wants are not governed by rational rules: the desire to have it all, to have it now and without limits, is a notion without end, with irrationality as its command.
The Economy is Spinning looks into various manifestations of the language of economics and finance, a language that permeates our vocabularies and builds the boundaries of our imaginations. The exhibition considers the economy as a ‘performing body’ that reveals its state of mind in its language. With contributions by nine artists, the exhibition accentuates and exaggerates the absurdity of this language and of its underlying mechanisms.
An accompanying publication will be launched in September 2016.
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