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Post Capital: A Screening

Mudam Collection Online Screening Programme

Post-Capital: Art and the Economics of the Digital Age brings together works of sculpture, painting, photography, video and performance in an exhibition that seeks to address the subject of contemporary economics. Developed within a period of significant change and uncertainty, the exhibition takes as its starting point the inherent paradox within a capitalist system that is both dependent upon, and threatened by, technology.

Post-Capital: A Screening is an online screening programme presenting works from Mudam’s collection of artist film and video that resonate with the exhibition’s themes, including the interaction of global financial and cultural structures.

The programme begins with Firket Atay’s Rebels of the Dance (2002), a recording of two boys dancing and singing traditional Kurdish music in an ATM booth, setting cultural heritage against global capitalism. The video was shot in Atay’s hometown of Batman, a city in the Turkish Kurdistan region, which, though rich in oil, remains politically oppressed and economically impoverished. Wael Shawky’s The Cave (Istanbul) (2004) similarly contrasts cultural traditions with contemporary consumerism, picturing the artist pacing the aisles of a grocery store as he recites the Surah al-Khaf. This chapter of the Quran calls for humility in all things, including wealth. Ulla von Brandenburg’s film, Kalns, Grimsti! Ieleja, Celies!, Sink down mountain, raise up valley! (2015) is inspired by Saint-Simonianism, a 19th century political, religious and economic movement that advocated for the importance of a working class in what they foresaw to be an increasingly industrialized society.

In Ciprian Muresan’s video The Invisible Hand (2011), the artist borrows a copy of Adam Smith’s (b. 1723, Kirkcaldy; d. 1790, Edinburgh) canonical text, The Wealth of Nations (1776) from a university library in Cluj, Romania. Muresan then binds into the book his drawing of a scene from The Doomed City, a 1972 science fiction novel that remained unpublished until 1989 due to its questioning of the Soviet Union. By inserting socialist critique into a foundational capitalist tome, Muresan invokes “The Invisible Hand,” a term introduced by Adam Smith in 1759 to describe how un-regulated forces of free market such as self-interest result in eventual economic equilibrium.

The Residence (a wager for the afterlife) (2012) tells the story of an architect hired to design a house in which a wealthy investor can continue to “live” in after his death. The architect conceives of a residency for the afterlife that exists as a financial algorithm, using currency exchange markets to continue generating a profit after the investor’s death. Mika Rottenberg’s Bowls Balls Souls Holes (Tinfoil Moon) (2014) continues this abstraction of financial systems by presenting a complex network of capitalist exchange produced and transmuted through bodily energy, collective action and other unseen forces such as luck.

Fikret Atay (b. 1976, Batman)
Rebels of the Dance, 2002
Video, colour, sound
10 min 52 sec
Collection Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
Acquisition 2003

Wael Shawky (b. Alexandria, 1971)
The Cave (Istanbul), 2004
Video, colour, sound
13 min 22 sec
Collection Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
Acquisition 2006

Ciprian Muresan (b. 1977, Dej)
The Invisible Hand, 2011
HD video, colour, sound
8 min 59 sec
Collection Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
Donation 2021 – the artist and Galleria Plan B Limited

Vermeir & Heiremans (f. 2006, Brussels)
The Residence (a wager for the afterlife), 2012
Video, colour, sound
37 min
Collection Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
Acquisition 2013

Mika Rottenberg (b.1976, Buenos Aires)
Bowls Balls Souls Holes (Tinfoil Moon), 2014
Video, colour, sound
27 min 54 sec
Collection Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
Dépôt 2015 – Collection J.M.S., Paris

Ulla von Brandenburg (b. 1974, Karlsruhe)
Kalns, grimsti ! leleja, celies ! / Sink down mountain, rise up valley!, 2015
16mm film, digitized, black and white, sound
18 min
Collection Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
Donation 2016 – Allen & Overy