Goldin+Senneby
"M&A" with Jo Randerson (playwright), Paul Leong (investment banker), Ybodon (computer scientist), Anna Heymowska (set designer), Johan Hjerpe (graphic designer) and Patrice Martre (actor), 2013/2014
SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art
27.09.14 – 22.11.14

Goldin+Senneby have collaborated since 2004 on projects that explore performativity in relation to juridical, financial and spatial constructs, and their operation in the digital realm. Through actions, platforms and theoretical pursuits, they consider the interrelation of virtual economies with theatricality and storytelling.

M&A follows a series of works in which the artists reference August Nordenskiöld, a late-eighteenth-century Swedish mineralogist and anti-slavery activist who attempted to produce enough gold by alchemical means to make it worthless and thereby undermine the financial system. In many of these works, the artists link speculative forms of theatre to the world of global finance, where trades are increasingly automated. For M&A, an actor is often present in the space, rehearsing a play commissioned by the artists. A closed plinth also houses what purports to be a trading strategy predicting mergers and acquisitions. Utilizing an algorithm based on this strategy and designed by a computer scientist, the artists will invest the budget for the production, the performance of which will pay the actor’s wage and thus determine the frequency and duration of his presence. Daily rehearsals continue as long the money lasts; the work itself is a real-time representation of market performance.

M&A underscores the questionable ethics involved in the world of virtual trading. At the same time, it implicates the art world within a global system where speculation is increasingly severed from production, locality, community and labour.
–GB

Goldin+Senneby, "M&A" with Anna Heymowska (set designer), Johan Hjerpe (graphic designer), Paul Leong (investment banker), Jo Randerson (playwright), Ybodon (computer scientist) and Stephen Bain (actor), 2013, theatrical rehearsals and financial speculation, exhibition view at ArtspaceNZ, Auckland, photo: Sam Hartnett
Goldin+Senneby, "M&A" with Anna Heymowska (set designer), Johan Hjerpe (graphic designer), Paul Leong (investment banker), Jo Randerson (playwright), Ybodon (computer scientist) and Stephen Bain (actor), 2013, theatrical rehearsals and financial speculation, exhibition view at ArtspaceNZ, Auckland, photo: Sam Hartnett
Biography

Goldin+Senneby was set up in 2004 by artists Simon Goldin and Jakob Senneby as a framework for collaboration, exploring juridical, financial and spatial constructs through notions of the performative and the virtual. Since 2010 their work has focused on The Nordenskiöld Model, an experiment in theatrical finance in which they attempt to (re)enact the anarcho-alchemical scheme of 18th century alchemist August Nordenskiöld on today’s financial markets.

Their work has been featured in solo exhibitions including M&A, Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand (2013); I dispense, divide, assign, keep, hold, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein (NAK), Aachen, Germany (2012); Standard Length of a Miracle, Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius, Lithuania (2011); The Decapitation of Money, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (2010); Headless. From the Public Record, Index, Stockholm (2009); and Goldin+Senneby: Headless, The Power Plant, Toronto (2008). They have also contributed to group exhibitions such as Art Turning Left, Tate Liverpool (2013); Mom, Am I Barbarian?, 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013); The Deep of the Modern, Manifesta 9, Genk, Belgium (2012); The End of Money, Witte de With, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2011); The Moderna Exhibition, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2010); Uneven Geographies, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK (2010); and In Living Contact, 28th Bienal de São Paulo (2008).

www.goldinsenneby.com