The Director of the Arts Administration program at Boston University and of the Museum of Contemporary Cuts, Lanfranco Aceti is proud to announce a new curated project, The Market Will Save Us, a banner installation and performance by international artist Bill Balaskas.
The artwork, premiered for the first time in the US in Boston, was paraded around the Boston Common, accompanied by a marching band during Art Week Boston, September 30, 2016 from 1pm to 2pm.
The banner was presented for the first time in 2013, on the façade of the Royal College of Art in London – one of the most important art schools in the world. The banner’s aim was not simply to disrupt the façade of a prominent public building by covering part of it. Rather, it aimed at disrupting the very idea of what it means to be an artist working under the current socioeconomic conditions of austerity and insecurity. By alluding to the contradictions through which the art world operates today, the work highlights the catastrophic economic determinism that dominated preceding the global financial crisis of 2008. Following this turbulent period, as art education increasingly becomes a privilege, the role of the art market has grown more and more influential. And the question is: who is going to benefit from this new relationship – the arts, the market, or perhaps neither, in the long-term? The continued development of the proposed query allows Balaskas’ piece, The Market Will Save Us, to be as relevant today as it was upon its premier three years ago.
In the curatorial statement Aceti wrote that “the complexity of the work is not just in the performance itself but in the processes which lead to it manifestation. A participatory event based on social attitudes and ability of the participants to interact socially together, beyond mere personal interests. The performance becomes a moment to voice the contradictions of contemporary existence, its struggles and lack of vision for the future. It unites people around an ambiguous message while at the same time becoming a strong reminder of what THE SOCIAL, with its memory and hopes, still signifies today. The performance presents a message that exists beyond the collapsing frameworks of the market itself, that, even if it were able to save the world, is unable to provide a framework for a vision that moves beyond the short term processes of exploitation of resources, people and histories.”
Special for ArtWeek Boston, Professor Lanfranco Aceti gave a brief post-performance talk about the piece.
Image credit: Bill Balaskas, The Market Will Save Us, 2013. Courtesy the artist and Kalfayan Galleries, Athens – Thessaloniki.
Project realised with the generous support of Ms. Irene Panagopoulos.
Photo by Dominic Tschudin.
Bill Balaskas was born in 1983 in Thessaloniki, Greece, where he studied economics before moving to the UK in order to study art. His background has influenced significantly his artistic practice, especially ever since the outbreak of the global financial crisis of 2008 that seriously affected his home country.
Since 2005, he is a London-based artist, writer and academic working across different media and platforms. He is currently a PhD candidate in the programme of Critical Writing in Art & Design of the Royal College of Art and he holds an MA from the same college. His works have been widely exhibited internationally, in more than 110 solo and group exhibitions. He has received nominations for several awards, including the 2013 AUDI Art Award for the most innovative young artist. In 2012, he represented the UK in the London Cultural Olympiad and in Maribor, the European Capital of Culture, with his video Parthenon Rising. Furthermore, his works have been presented in curated sections at Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Cologne and Art Brussels, amongst others.
Balaskas’s practice has been praised for its intellectual rigour and aesthetic versatility in articles and reviews that have appeared in publications such as Frieze, Wallpaper, Domus, The Art Newspaper, Espoarte, Le Monde, El País and El Mundo. In addition to his artistic practice, Bill Balaskas is an awarded writer and an editor for the Leonardo Electronic Almanac (The MIT Press). In recent years, he has given talks about his work at the University of Oxford, the 11th Sharjah Biennial, Tate Liverpool, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Goldsmiths University, Central Saint Martins and the Victoria & Albert Museum. The main elements encountered in his practice are irony, humour and the interrogation of spectacle, through the fuse of which he explores subjects with a strong political character. Recent exhibitions include: MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain; ARTIUM Basque Museum Center of Contemporary Art, Vitoria; Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Athens (2016); CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid; Les Chiroux, Liege; State of Concept, Athens (2015); BOZAR, Brussels; John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; Transmediale, Berlin; Le CENTQUATRE, Paris; ΤΕΝΤ, Rotterdam; Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland (2014); 4th Thessaloniki Biennale, Greece; Kasa Gallery, Istanbul; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens; Nordic House, Reykjavik (2013); Vetrinj Mansion, Maribor; Musée des Abattoirs, Toulouse; Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh (2012).