Libidinal Economies: Art in the Age of Bull Markets

Libidinal Economies: Art in the Age of Bull Markets
Contemporary Art Center, Irvine
 
Curated by Juli Carson and Michael Moshe Dahan
Oct 03, 2015 to Dec 12, 2015
 
Reception:
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – 2:00pm to 5:00pm
 
Libidinal Economies: Art in the Age of Bull Markets 
takes as its economic mise-en-scène 
the bull run market of 1982 (that
 crashed in 1987), tracing its origins in monetary policies of the 1970’s, and mapping its echoes in the recent redux of
 this bull run from 2009 to the present. 
 The New York Stock Exchange (where
 the selling and buying of securities, currency and commodities takes place)
 and the art world (where the critique of
 Wall Street culture is derived and
 scripted) presumably constitute two 
distinct psychic and fiscal economies
 located in two different physical locations. The former is supposed to be rational, mathematical and regulated, the latter libidinal, creative and subversive. However, that isn’t true. The art world, in fact, has proven to be the bohemian substrate of the real deal, the bottom line, of the financial market. The gallery system, in the 80s and even more so recently, is the physical location – the center of mass – where these two celestial bodies effortlessly orbit each other with near mathematical precision. In this way, the economic and aesthetic spheres share a gravitational pull because they are – libidinally and economically – inextricably connected. Given so, Libidinal Economies showcases film works –experimental, narrative, and documentary – that are provoked by this cultural condition. As such, we are to consider these films as demonstrating various critical positions of resistance to the art market. But in so doing, this critique is made, naturally, from the inside, as there no longer is any way out of this closed system.
 
Artists: Yael Bartana, Maura Brewer, Hollis Frampton, Constanze Ruhm, Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy, Axel Stockburger and Christoph Meier, Michael Snow, Benjamin Van Bebber and Bastian Zimmermann
 
Film Series: Towards a Libidinal Aesthetics
A weekly film-series, Towards a Libidinal Aesthetics, will accompany the exhibition following late gallery hours on Thursday evenings.  The series will showcase long-form, mainstream and alternative cinema, and will include original 16mm prints of Michael Snow’s Wavelength (1967) as well as Hollis Frampton’s (nostalgia) (1973).