NEW YORK.- Kent Gallery is pleased to present Kapital, a curated project that explores the concept of means of exchange. Spanning from 1864 to the present, the exhibition brings together an international group of 26 emerging and established artists working in a variety of media. As quoted from Joseph Beuys, the very structure of politics and economics could be altered for the better through the language of art. It is our hope that the projects presented here will offer an expanded interpretation of what can be called capital and how it is used in society.
Duchamp's Monte Carlo Bond (1938) along with Dan Graham's Income (Outflow) Piece (1969) examine the possibility of an artist having economic standing. Duchamp chose to create and issue bonds on himself, and Dan Graham sold shares in Dan Graham, Inc., causing the artist to become a limited company for all to share ownership. In Priceless (2004) Hank Willis Thomas comments upon the tasteless marketing employed by credit card companies, specifically Mastercard, which equate the ownership of a credit card (borrowed capital) with experiencing a priceless moment in ones life. In an earlier work entitled The Chase Advantage (1976), Hans Haacke comments on the connections between financial institutions and art related public relations.
Means of exchange is also extended here to include slaves and soldiers as spendable or expendable capital used to achieve specific economic agendas. The Emancipation Proclamation, (exhibited here), deprived the Confederacy of essential labor by granting freedom to individuals who were once considered assets bartered to sustain the economy. In her ongoing project begun in 2004, All of the American Servicemen and Women Who Have Died in Iraq, But Not Including the Wounded, Nor the Iraqis, Emily Prince seeks to directly address the human cost of war. Prince draws the faces of soldiers killed on a daily basis which can be found posted on the website militarycity.com. Thus far, there are over 2,800 entries in her archive of drawings organized by birthplace. The project serves as a memorial, containing individual, hand drawn portraits of the United States diers killed trying to fulfill the agenda of the current Bush administration.