ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, 09|17|2011 – 02|05|2012
Surasi Kusolwong
* 1965 in Ayutthaya (TH), lives and works in Bangkok (TH)

50% OFF BOOKS (Never Mind Kapital = Never Mind Kunst)
One Pound Turbo Market (You’ll have a good time), 2006

There already has been much discussion about art as a strategy to transform something worthless into something valuable. This statement is one of the most popular accusations leveled at modern and contemporary art. That a certain creative aspiration lies already in creating a social situation, in which goods and values are exchanged, is often overlooked. Over the past few years, Surasi Kusolwong has organized markets at various locations, where the event of buying and selling becomes a public performance. The cynical interpretation of this, that contemporary art is only ever thought about in terms of economics, is opposed by Surasi Kusolwong’s performance by foregrounding the character of the market as a spectacle, in which the artist as DJ and host entertainer sells the tawdry cheap wares at a flat price. The act of exchange is more than the sum of the parts that we take home from the market, and the participation of the audience, so often demanded by contemporary art, becomes ironically ambiguous. Whether Surasi Kusolwong’s markets point to the culture of globalized capitalism, which also turns museums into places for bargain hunting, or whether they rather celebrate the social event and its specific aesthetics, which we would hardly critically interrogate at our local flea markets, is a question that remains unanswered. Equally, it is not possible to ascertain whether the pretty arrangement of the objects follows the logic of shop displays or the artistic installation..

In addition to a documentation of the One Pound Turbo Market (You’ll have a good time) in the Tate Modern, Surasi Kusolwong will show the performance 50% OFF BOOKS (Never Mind Kapital = Never Mind Kunst) in the exhibition. On the opening evening he will sell catalogs by artists who are important for his own work at a discount price. (JB)


50% OFF BOOKS (Never Mind Kapital = Never Mind Kunst),


One Pound Turbo Market (You’ll have a good time),