Art and Crisis: Reporting from Varna.


Behind me is the high tech sculpture Zero-V, a series of four elements inspired by sport cars and and powerboats, each looks like a fin on a handle – the red one is clearly from sport cars and the blue one from a powerboat. The two small black ones are low profile fins that could be from anywhere. The sculpture by Vessel T was exhibited at gallery Bulart, Varna this Saturday Together with the cool techno beats of DJ Sixtynine and some wine poured into blue red and black cups the party was really on. Plamen was taking pictures.


But what was the art all about?


To me the whole installation looked like a distant call from the 1920’s speaking the Bauhaus language of expression or as Dora, the curator, explained to me of the “ready made” stream. But unlike the art in the 1920’s this one had no obvious conflict or opposition, no inner dynamic. The four elements stood still all oriented in the same way, two of them with installed breaks on them. The fascination with high technologies suggested on the flyer just did not square with these static objects in front of me.


Later the same night I was reading a book about the Great Financial Crisis, a Marxist critique of capitalism. The critique focuses on the excess capacity and the lack of real investment opportunities which drive capital to financialization as opposed to the old investment in machines and manufacturing of real good. And there it comes to me! Vessel’s fins are perfect mechanically but unemployed, they are waiting (in line) to become engaged in something but they are not yet moving. Brand new, they remain unused, unmoved and unemotional, stagnated, stuck, framed. From that point of view the dream of the futuristic techno-architecture looked like a mirage. Is capitalism ever going to make it out of this world alive?


Back in the gallery Daniela Shakespeare and me agreed that the music was good indeed.  I enjoyed the enthusiasm in the atmosphere. Everyone else was outside smoking.

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