Monday, June 06, 2016

Sixty-four characters in search of an economy

In counterpoint to his installation in the Marciana Library in Venice, Simon Denny has scored another amazing venue, this time for the Berlin Biennale. Sited in an institution he could have invented the name for – ESMT School of Management and Technology – he’s in the heart of the old East German State Council building. Lavishly fitted out in the early 1960s it boasts sweeping staircases, imposingly high ceilings and enormous windows, elaborate metallic patterned doors as well as murals celebrating the socialist state in glass and aluminum. 

Denny’s exhibition space features one of these murals soaring to the ceiling and looming over a constellation of Blockchain visionaries (the title of the show) whose mission is nothing less than to transform money and the global economy. Using the modular trades fair booth format Denny delivers three case studies presenting the key points of each strategy, a full-length portrait and even a set of stamps (in collaboration with Linda Kantchev). 

OK, the Trade show format can be a struggle for art audiences with its direct messaging, reductive graphics and slippery politics but chances are they’ll grow accustomed to it. After all, many visitors to the Biennale now admire the once ignored or even despised murals of Socialist ideals that contextualize the Denny work. And yes, they look pretty damn good. You can see a short video and pics of Denny’s installation here on OTN:STUFF

Image: visitors climbing the stairs of the ESMT School of Management and Technology to see Simon Denny's instalation