CASH — FROM SYMBOL AND DREAM TO HARD CORE REALITY

IX SHIRYAEVO BIENNALE OF CONTEMPORARY ART
SAMARA REGION /SAMARA, SHIRYAEVO/

Founder: National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA)
Supported by: Ministry of Culture of Russian Federation, Government of the Samara Region,
National Museum and Exhibition Centre «ROSIZO»
Co-founder: Ministry of Culture of the Samara Region
Organizer: Central Volga Branch of National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA)
Commissar of the Biennale: Roman Korzhov (Russia)
Curator of the Main Project: Nelya Korzhova (Russia)
Curators of the Special Program: Martin Schibli (Sweden), Vitaly Patsukov (Russia)

August 25 — September 19, 2016
Samara Regional Museum of Art
92, Kuybysheva st., Samara
Curator: Martin Schibli (Sweden)
Participants: Conny Blom and Nina Slejko Blom, Juan Castillo, Heath Bunting, Alba S Andstrom, Oliver Ressler, Jonas Lund, Cecilia Parsberg, Merzedes Sturm-Lie.
Coordinator — Konstantin Zatsepin
Free admission on the opening date

CASH is a seducing symbol, a universal tool, a necessity. Some people have too much CASH, others — too little, but almost everyone wants more. For the rich ones money opens up limitless opportunities; for those who are in need money becomes a poison corrupting both mind and soul. Most religions condemn a wish for money, because it interferes with an aspiration to find salvation from above; moreover, money could mean earthly salvation for a person who hardly manages to make ends meet. Money begets clashes and conflicts, sometimes ruining the bonds of friendship and marriage; at the same time it allows us to raise our children and take care of our neighbors.
Many people see CASH as a tool for the capitalist system only. Such a position is apparently wrong since the need for the effective exchange system was initially satisfied by using gold and other precious metals as a means of exchange. Thus, the capitalist system is nothing more than a medium for maintaining the CASH system and managing scarce resources in society.
The essential condition for CASH to function properly in society is trust. We all have some kind of a belief in money, although many people don’t understand or don’t want to accept that fact. The belief is based on our immanent feeling that somebody guarantees the value of money, which automatically implies an existence of the efficient political and economic system behind all money-related processes. Without this deeply-rooted trust CASH isn’t even worth paper it’s printed on.
Lust for money can cripple one’s personality. People could perform the most horrible deeds in order to get those cherished notes, even if it’s quite obvious that in the long run money can’t solve all the problems. Paradoxically, in many cases CASH acts as a strong productive force, stimulating people to work harder and more efficiently. In some countries where the officials are poorly paid, CASH is intensely used to oil the administrative system as civil servants are under the necessity of accepting bribes just to feed their families.
CASH is an attractive symbol of power and force. Western businessmen quite often use a phrase «CASH is king», which expresses a belief that compared with other investment vehicles CASH is the most important and reliable tool. CASH acquires a special magnetism under the conditions of everyday struggle for survival and uncertainty of the future.
The exhibition presents artists examining the relationship between sociological aspects of the need of CASH, the deeds people are ready to perform in order to get some money and possible consequences of those deeds.

Martin Schibli