…what people don’t understand… is that what happens in the market is pivotal to their lives… not on the periphery…but slap, bang, in the middle…
(From telephone conversation with trader, name withheld, Dealing Room, Investment Bank, London, February 2013

After recent installations in Ireland at both the Gallery of Photography and Belfast Exposed, Mark Curran’s long-term project on the global stock and commodity markets titled, The Market, is now travelling to Paris:

Mark Curran « The Market »
Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris
Vernissage: 30 January 2014, 6.30-8pm
Exhibition: 31 January – 2 March 2014

Mark Curran’s challenging new project THE MARKET sets out to make visible – literally and metaphorically – the sphere where our futures are speculated upon. His multi-media installation includes photographs, films, transcripts of interviews and a soundscape that investigate the functioning of the global stock and commodity markets. From Dublin to London, Frankfurt and Addis Abeba, the artist concentrates on the experience of individuals working within a supremely complex system.

This exhibition was presented in Ireland as part of a nationwide artistic project curated by Helen Carey (Director of Limerick City Gallery of Art) to mark the centenary of the 1913 industrial conflict known as the Dublin Lockout.

Algorithms and sound design: Ken Curran

Curated by Helen Carey

In James Larkin’s speech in defense of the strike action to the Askwith 1913 Lockout Enquiry, he used Shakespeare’s words –

You take my life When you do take the means whereby I live

In doing this, he uses the words of Shylock, a complex character in this context. But then, ideas of work and value, to whom what is owed or entitled, and who is required to deliver, making clear that relationships between people and their work are complex.

This installation at the Gallery of Photography proposes that, in the context of the centenary of the 1913 Dublin Lockout, we do homage to the past by being in our present and considering our future. It also proposes that work and capital are subjects in a changing world with complex implications for human relationships and where technology complicates the matter.

The installation reinforces the artist as among the thinkers of our time who get stuck into the wondering and analyzing of what happens. Respecting that the narrative of 1913 will be told elsewhere, Mark Curran in his work THE MARKET looks at now and the future, and what we might now be locked into.

Literally and metaphorically, the sphere where our futures are speculated upon – this is what Curran sets out to make visible. In the evolutionary aftermath of the global economic collapse, how do the global stock and commodity markets function beyond the iconography of the sites of the trading floor?

Continuing a cycle of long-term projects focusing on the predatory impact of global capital, Curran explores these sites and beyond, attempting to elaborate an understanding of what is deciding our futures.

Curran contacted specific stock and commodity exchanges around the globe. Negotiating access to these international exchanges took on average over 18 months, and indeed is ongoing in some countries. For the installation in the Gallery of Photography, Curran exhibits photographs, digital video, artefactual materials, sound and verbal testimonies. It includes work made in the Irish Stock Exchange, Dublin; the financial centres of Canary Wharf and The City, London; the Deutsche Borse, Frankfurt, and in the recently established Ethiopian Commodity Exchange in Addis Abeba, the youngest exchange in the world.

Acknowledging the technological evolution of the markets towards primarily non-human apparatus, generated from algorithms identifying the words market or markets from speeches given by the Irish Minister of Finance, the soundscape of the installation represents the defining sound of the market, the sound of Capital through the conduit apparatus of the Nation-State.

Curran focusses on the individuals who labour within the heart of global capitalism, underlining the human stories at the centre of this most complex of functions. It lends particular resonance to the centenary of the 1913 Dublin Lockout, which marked the streets of Dublin at the time, challenging relations between labour and capitalism in a newly emerging Republic, leaving deep scars. The implicit critical resonance associated with this event of exclusion, omission and invisibility regarding labour and its defining relationship to capital remaining ever pertinent, ever urgent. This exhibition shows how contemporary art is concerned with how unknowingly people work and live, within
systems that govern the detail of life.

Mark Curran lives and works in Berlin and Dublin. He completed a practice-led PhD at the Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice, Dublin Institute of Technology (2011), lectures on the BA (Hons) Photography programme, Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dublin and is Visiting Professor on the MA in Visual and Media Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin.

Incorporating multi-media installation informed by ethnographic understandings, his practice addresses the predatory context of migrations of global capital. His first long-term project, SOUTHERN CROSS (Gallery of Photography, Dublin 2002), was widely published and exhibited and The Breathing Factory (Edition Braus / Belfast Exposed Photography / Gallery of Photography 2006), the outcome of his doctoral research has been extensively presented, most recently, at DePaul Art Museum (DPAM), Chicago (2010), Xuhui Art Museum, Shanghai (2010) and FORMAT, Derby (2013).

Continuing this cycle of projects, Ausschnitte aus EDEN/Extracts from EDEN (2011), sited in a declining industrial and coalmining region of the former East Germany, was installed at Encontros da Imagem 2011, Braga, Portugal and PhotoIreland 2012 and will be published in a forthcoming edition of the UK journal, Photographies to be edited by Liz Wells and Deborah Bright.

Curran has also presented on his research including CAA Annual Conference, Chicago (2010), Emerging Landscapes, University of Westminster, London (2010), Photomedia-Images in Circulation, Aalto University, Helsinki (2012) and Between Nature and Culture: Photography as Method and Mediation, The Photographers Gallery, London (2012). He was recently nominated by Gallery of Photography, Dublin for the international Prix Pictet Award.

Further information about The Market can be found on Mark’s project website, as well as on the following sites:

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