POST CAPITALISTIC AUCTION (PCA in below) is a performative event, a real and alternative auction, an art project crossing over performance, contemporary art, academical research and social investigation.
Audience are invited to bid for artworks in new ways. Actual transactions takes place. The twist is that bidders are invited to make offers not only with money – understanding, opportunity, and exchange are introduced as additional currencies. The creators of the works present at the auction, and when the different offers are made, the artist will decide who gets the artwork. An advising panel offers different perspectives on their decision.
The performativity reveals during the presentation of the bidders, the dialogue and debate between the artists, advisors and bidders, and the decisions of the artists. In the frame of this real, but alternative auction, Post Capitalistic Auction invites to a reflection on art and value.
The conception was originated from the concept and director Jingyi Wang’s question “Why does money decide everything including art?“ and her observation and reflection of the paradox in art and art auction that, art is believed more than commodity but in art auction art goes to who pays most as any other commodity. Situated in Post Capitalism society which proposed by Paul Mason, PCA looks into our current value mechanisms, as well as trying to propose new parameters.
The four currencies are developed and inspired by Bourdieu’s theory of capitals: economic, cultural, symbolic and social capitals.
This project is planned as a long term, ongoing series in different countries, aiming to investigate within different social and art economies and ecologies. In each city, the auctioneer, the artists and advising panel, and select the artworks will be locally recruited. So each version will follow the same concept and framework but with unique contents and result.
The premiere was in Bergen in 2018, spanning over two days: vernissage and panel debate on March 15th, and art auction on March 16th.
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 makeoffers based on any of the following categories – pure or in combination. All bids are placed through an online bidding software specially developed for this project and shown on a projection screen.
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.
Understanding: The bidder can offer an intellectual understanding or emotional understanding of the artworks, making connections with the artists.
Exchange:This could be anything. The bidder offers a trade or exchange of services in return of the art work. The exchange can also be something that takes place in the actual event. The bidder’s imagination might be the only limitation to this category.
Bidding is optional. All bids are binding.
In this real but alternative auction performance, the tension between bidding seriously and the play with the alternative rules challenged the decision and actions of both the bidders and artists.
What will the bidders offer? Will the artist accept other currencies than money? Can alternative currencies make way for a new era, or new ways of valuing art?