International group exhibition addresses the nature of production, consumption and wealth in the 21st century
Kunsthal Charlottenborg is proud to present this autumn’s major exhibition in close collaboration with Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean. Post-Capital takes as its starting point the inherent paradox within a capitalist system that is both dependent upon and threatened by technological progress. Installed in Kunsthal Charlottenborg’s grand south wing, the exhibition brings together works of sculpture, painting, photography, video and performance by 21 artists such as Liz Magic Laser, Simon Denny, Laura Owens, Josephine Pryde, Nick Relph, Martine Syms, Nora Turato and Guan Xiao.
The exhibition’s title is adapted from Peter Drucker’s 1993 book, Post-Capitalist Society, which predicted that information technology would have such an impact on the labour market that it would ultimately lead to the fall of capitalism by 2020. Writing whilst the internet was still in its infancy (Denmark, for example, was connected in 1990), Drucker predicted that in the future, knowledge, rather than capital, labour or land ownership, would become the basis for wealth.
Today forms of labour, currency, commodities and the nature of consumption have been dramatically transformed by technologies that continue to evolve. Multinational information technology and e-commerce firms rank amongst the highest valued publicly traded companies. Information that is both abundant and infinitely replicable has become a valuable commodity that defies traditional economic principles where value is determined by scarcity. Developed within a period of significant change and uncertainty, the artworks in Post-Capital variously explore the paradoxes, absurdities and ethical questions posed by post-industrial and perhaps post-capital economies.
Works by Cao Fei, Liz Magic Laser and Cameron Rowland explore the nature of contemporary labour, referring respectively to the phenomenon of the automated logistics centres and warehouses, the gig economy and biometric time clocks. LED paintings by Ei Arakawa, video installations by Mohamed Bourouissa and Yuri Pattison, and photographs by Shadi Habib Allah feature so-called ‘mediums of exchange’ from the minting of coins at the Monnaie de Paris to the production of Bitcoin in rural China and the unofficial trade of welfare food stamps in grocery stores in Miami. Other works by GCC, Guan Xiao and Josephine Pryde address conspicuous consumption, overproduction or commodity fetishism, whilst sculpture by Katja Novitskova playfully alludes to the emergence of the so-called ‘attention economy’ in an information-saturated world. Oliver Laric creates copyright-free digital scans of antiquities and other objects from museums all over the world, and photographic works by Nick Relph capture the widespread gentrification via generic images that illustrate capitalist desires.
Participating artists: Ei Arakawa, Mohamed Bourouissa, Cao Fei, Simon Denny, Lara Favaretto, GCC, Guan Xiao, Shadi Habib Allah, Roger Hiorns, Oliver Laric, Liz Magic Laser, Katja Novitskova, Laura Owens, Yuri Pattison, Sondra Perry, Josephine Pryde, Nick Relph, Cameron Rowland, Hito Steyerl, Martine Syms, Nora Turato.
Post-Capital: Art and the Economics of the Digital Age is curated by Michelle Cotton and produced by Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean in close collaboration with Kunsthal Charlottenborg.
A fully illustrated catalogue including a curator’s essay and texts on the artists and their works is available from Kunsthal Charlottenborg’s bookstore. Post-Capital: A Reader also features recent writings by leading international thinkers in economics, art, and culture, including excerpts of books by James Bridle, Heike Geissler, Richard Seymour, Hito Steyerl, McKenzie Wark, and Shoshana Zuboff.
The exhibition is supported by the Augustinus Foundation, the Beckett Foundation, Knud Højgaard’s Foundation, the Obel Family Foundation, the Danish Arts Foundation, the William Demant Foundation, Aage and Johanne Louis-Hansen’s Foundation.
Post Capital 17 September 2022 – 15 January 2023.
Image: Liz Magic Laser, In Real Life, 2019. Film still, 5-channel video, colour, sound, UV printed fabric and polyurethane foam seating elements ©Liz Magic Laser 2019/Courtesy of the artist, Various Small Fires, Los Angeles/Seoul and Wilfried Lentz, Rot.