POST CAPITALISTIC AUCTION is a performative event that invites artists and bidders to interact, buy and sell art works with different currencies than hard cash. By introducing new rules, and new forms of transactions, we investigate different parameters for value. Through a vernissage, a seminar, an auction and a performance, we orchestrate a social experiment on how different forms of capital might impact our views and decisions.

Ten different artworks by ten different artists will be auctioned. Actual transactions will take place. The twist is that bidders can bid for artworks not only with Money. We introduce “Understanding”, “Opportunity” and “Exchange” as additional currencies. Through the act of bidding a performance will emerge. When the offers are on the table, the artist will decide who gets the artwork. A panel of experts from different fields will be present to offer advice on the artist’s decision.

In the frame of this real, but alternative auction, we study how we value art. The event is an investigation of the diversity of factors that come into play when dealing with the complexities of art and value – and a reflection on potential strategies for experiencing and transacting art.  

POST CAPITALISTIC AUCTION will be a series of events that take place in different cities and countries. Our first stop is Bergen. We dive into different art ecologies – searching for findings and proposals for what’s now, and what might be in the future.

The event in Bergen will span over two days, from 15 – 16 March 2018. On Thursday 15 March you are invited to a vernissage and viewing of the artworks that will be auctioned at Bergen Kunsthall, followed by a seminar. The big auction will take place in Landmark on Friday 16 March at 21:00, with a subsequent post party.

POST CAPITALISTIC AUCTION is developed on the concept and direction of Jingyi Wang. In Bergen, Jingyi wang developed her concept into production in collaboration with Idun Vik. Co-production of  BIT Teatergarasjen, BEK and Bergen Kunsthall.

How to play

The auction is our performance, and the performance is our auction. All attending audiences are welcome to participate in the bidding. The bidders can choose to make offers based on any of the following categories – pure or in combination.

Money: The traditional way. Bid with money.

Opportunity: The bidder offers the artist a career opportunity in exchange of the art work. In this case the bidder might have a social captial in form of network, or other significant industry contacts that they can introduce the artist to. This could be someone connected to a gallery, an institution or a festival, or whatever else that potentially could further the career of the artist.

Understanding: The bidder gets the chance to convey their understanding of the work: why and how it appeals to them, and explain how they might feel as “The soulmate” of the artwork. The bidder can offer an intellectual understanding, which might include references to art history or other contextualization, or they can offer an emotional understanding, with however much passion and immediacy they can evoke.

Exchange: The bidder offers a trade or exchange of services in return of the art work. This could be anything. Maybe the bidder offers the artist to stay at their summer house, gives a private concert, free baby sitting, a programing service of an app or platform, valuable information, services or advice. The exchange can also be something that takes place in the actual event, for example a kiss, acrobatic tricks or a recital of a poem. The bidder’s imagination might be the only limitation to this category.

What will the bidders offer? Will the artist accept other currencies than money? What is understanding set up against money? Can a trade surpass an opportunity? Can  the change of rules change our ways of thinking? Can alternative currencies make way for a new era, or new ways of valuing art?

At POST CAPITALISTIC AUCTION you might find out.