Diango HernándezWho Pays?
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz, Liechtenstein
"Art = Capital", as Joseph Beuys put it. This succinct formula sums up his understanding of the world: "The only revolutionary force is the power of human creativity."
Behind this lies the idea that every human being can contribute to the common good and have a formative effect on society by means of his creative action. The necessary skills – spirituality, open-mindedness, cooperation and creativity – are inherent in every human being, all that is needed, Beuys claims, is to recognise, train and encourage these faculties. Based on the Beuysian notion of capital, the exhibition Who Pays? takes a look at changing ideas of money and capital and the associated transformation of meanings and values. Who Pays? brings together a number of artistic positions from the 1960s to the present. They allow us to examine our notions of wealth and poverty, of give and take, and of participation from different angles, concepts that nowadays are mostly reduced to purely economic aspects.
“Everything is so very much in motion.” These words written by the author Gertrude Stein in the context of the rapid change of language in the Elizabethan age can also be taken to describe today’s fast-paced changes. Our Western societies are in a state of fundamental upheaval. Not only rising rates of burnout and depression testify to deep-lying anxieties, but also an emerging need for seclusion and safeguarding assets and values. All this in the knowledge that we are using up more resources than Earth can generate. On the other hand we see many and diverse approaches that see potentials and opportunities for a more sustainable future. What is the role of the concept of capital in this context? And what “capital” role can art play? The title of the exhibition Who Pays? is based on a fluorescent sign created by the artist group RELAX (chiarenza & hauser & co) and addresses every single individual.