Ongoing art project Economy explores relationship with commerce and transactions (5 stars)

Ongoing art project Economy explores relationship with commerce and transactions

Still from Marge Monko - Shaken Not Stirred

Meticulously curated two-site exhibition

Economy isn’t so much an exhibition. It’s not even two exhibitions. It’s an ongoing project, a conversation and a meticulously-curated attempt to build an echo chamber of ideas and artistic experiments about our relationship with commerce and the transactions – cultural every bit as much as financial - which govern our ability to operate as human beings.

Spread across two sites at opposite sides of the country (sadly the Glasgow leg closes a month before the Edinburgh one, curtailing the opportunity to experience both halves together) and a film screening collection, Economy brings together almost three dozen works which reflect incisively upon these themes. Probably most famous is Tracey Emin’s ‘I’ve Got It All’, in which the artist poses, legs apart, as if giving birth to floods of cash and coins, or documentation of Andrea Fraser’s infamous and scathing 2003 criticism of art as capital market by attempting to sell herself having sex with someone as a performance work. Elsewhere, amidst a wide range of cross-media works, we experience Tanja Ostojic’s frank commentary on migration ‘Looking for a Husband With EU Passport’, Jeremy Deller and Mike Figgis’ film The Battle of Orgreave, and Andreas Gursky’s striking photographic portrait of trading floor as near electronic circuit.

In the end what emerges is not a project which takes a position or allows itself to be led down narrow alleys, but rather one which presents a wealth of highly contemporary information, perspectives and ideas on society, and condenses them around the viewer as an overwhelming immersive experience which somehow syncs up into a natural order. In this respect more than any other, the curators have managed to reflect the atomised makeup and very intricate workings of capitalism’s pressurised global system.

CCA, Glasgow, run ended; Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sun 21 Apr


A major group exhibition exploring the resurgence of the economy as a key factor shaping people's lives. Presented across multiple venues and curated by Angela Dimitrakaki and Kirsten Lloyd.