NOTHING TO SEE HERE
Mark Wilby, Annemi Conradie, Cindy Snow Harris
GUS 16 April – 11 May
The Commercial Crimes Section has been concerned for some time about the activities of a certain artist’s brand strategist, Suzette Clarke, and her manipulative client…to the degree that they have deployed the critic-cum-sleuth Davina Montrose to take a closer look.
The installation at GUS – nothing to see here – represents a forensic examination of that which appears to be a convoluted attempt to sway market sentiment and create value from, essentially, nothing. Is this a masterful business strategy, or has a crime been committed? And, if so, who is culpable?
As is often the case in this form of conspiracy, it is discord and distrust between the suspects that threatens to undo their calculating plans. That, and an unwanted scrutiny.
About the larger project: KAPITAL (since 2012)
The idea for this exhibition at GUS draws formative inspiration from aviation forensics, where investigators appropriate a space to reconstruct the fragmented remnants of evidence. The debris assembled and exhibited at GUS reveals the sleuth’s modus operandi, and gives clues to the manoeuvres of the Kapital crew since 2012.
Nothing to see here is a chapter in Kapital, a work by Mark Wilby and collaborators Annemi Conradie, Snow Cindy Harris, Niël Jonker, Tanya Poole, Luvuyo Yanta, and Christine Dixie. Kapital is a real-time narrative that, through the interplay of public intervention, social media, and scripted sequences, occupies precarious territory between fact and fiction.
The larger project is focused on the mechanisms whereby value, reputation and pedigree are produced in the world and markets of ‘high art’. What is the source of value or reputation, and what happens when the reputation of a work or artist displaces the work itself? What if that value results not from the work, or even the artist but, as in Kapital, as a deliberate, self-contained conceptual construct?