Where art meets economics and the author becomes superfluous .
Someone thought that economics and finance were excessively affecting the contemporary art world. So their response was to integrate them in the artwork itself in a very provocative way: getting rid of the artist.
First presented in Lugano at Five Gallery the past November, the Arteconomy concept came to life with its first work, Continuity.
Factually speaking, Continuity is a series of works made of recycled carbon fiber, produced from transformed factory wastes. Ideally, Continuity is an industrial economy piece of art because of the cultural setting which it is a product of. And as a artwork it is priced following a very unique method, pinpointing the correlation between art and real economy.
Starting with an assigned price of 500 Sfr to “Continuity 1”, the price steadily increases by 100 Sfr with every piece sold. The value of “Continuity 21”, now on sale is 2500 Sfr. This constant mark-up is not due to the increasing demand, but it is the ‘emotion’ that every single collector feels when buying (and therefore called incremental emotion). Emotion also linked to the fact that the face value of the mark-up is entirely donated to charity, in contrast with the elitist value of contemporary art prices. Arteconomy collectors are treated as a part of a community similar to a corporation as they receive a dividend (called emotional condividendo*) for each new Continuity sold. This allows all Continuity series collectors to benefit directly from Arteconomy growth and success.
Chitchatting with the Igor Rucci, founder of the swiss gallery, we found out more about the barriers faced when launching Arteconomy. The major hurdle wasn’t the making of the artwork itself, but those psychological barriers that usually burden new and original projects.
Andrea Del Guercio, the gallery artistic director, told us about the stir that the project caused within the art world. Besides some outraged art dealers and few worried artists, the wider audience has welcomed Arteconomy with curiosity and consideration. Many understood and appreciated the project provocation and above all the “community” added value. This led to more than 20 Arteconomy artworks sold in few months, an unimaginable achievement for something that started as an inside cause for reflection on the state of art.
Arteconomy draws attention also on the largely debated argument around art accessibility and wider enjoyment. On this matter, Del Guercio revealed himself to be a strong believer of the importance of art to better our life style. However he also insisted on the fact that art is already more accessible nowadays (Arteconomy is an example of this reality). But for this reality to be even more experienced by many, personal curiosity and preparation are also needed as a starting point for a more proactive enjoyment.
If I had absolute power in the art world for a day? I would change the current critical responsibility of art, which influences values and technical solutions. Only this way we will be able to understand the modernity of an artist, avoiding having to re-discover a Van Gogh one hundred years after his solitary disappearance. — Andrea Del Guercio
- Italian wordplay, mixing up “to share” (condividere) and “dividend” (dividendo)