La monnaie vivante / The Living Currency / Die lebende Münze was based on a practice of exhibition making that postulates that memory is not an archive. The project’s goal was to demonstrate this through performance as well as through both older and more recent works by visual artists that explore the relationship between the body and a reality shaped by economic systems. These are works that cannot be reduced to material objects or to the documentation of an action. Instead, they are brought into the present through their bodily presence in time and space. http://www.thisistomorrow.info
111 CONSTRUCTIONS MADE WITH 10 MODULES AND 10 WORKERS (2004) is represen- tative of Santiago Sierra’s oeuvre. When creating a work, Sierra often hires people or workers vulnerable to exploitation, and pays them for doing certain jobs. Thus the artist reproduces the economic idea of capitalism constantly seeking to increase profits. For The Living Currency, the result is a critical and formal engagement with the artist’s view on art history through the monotonous activation of minimal yet makeshift plasterboard modules by a group of workers. The originally conceived piece from 2004 is further influenced by the legacy of Franz Erhard Walther, Sierra’s teacher and mentor. http://www.thisistomorrow.info
In numerous works by Teresa Margolles, fluids from the laboratories of the Mexico City morgue are utilized as statements on the city’s violent reality. For La monnaie vivante, a machine blows bubbles into the exhibition space using a mixture made with water used to wash the bodies of murder victims following their autopsies. The soap bubbles that spill on to the stage thus have been made with water that bears traces of political and social brutality. By using this specific medium, the artist creates an ephemeral monument for the continuous flow, and increasing number of victims, who usually receive little or no attention due to their fragile, social position.