Julika Rudelius at Thierry Goldberg Projects


video still


installation view

Julika Rudelius
Economic Primacy, 2005
two channel video
17:56 min., color, sound
edition of 7

James and I saw this video last week as part of the "Bare Market" exhibition and I keep thinking of it. The description from the press release is below.

In Julika RudeliusÂ’ two-channel video Economic Primacy, an all male cast of Dutch CEOs share their thoughts about power, money, and success. Interviewed using a hidden earpiece, they respond to RudeliusÂ’ questions over the phone while she is situated in another room. Set in a generic office space of RudeliusÂ’ own construction, the intensity of focus and sense of observation are penetrating. The blankness of the office tells of a certain lofty separation, perhaps out of touch, from the rest of society. With this framing in double-screen, she heightens the candid nature of the conversations. Views on the role and importance of money as the ultimate measure of love, image, and success follow with snide quips on class and race.

The man on the right in the installation shot talks about how good money is as an objective measure, even for love. He speaks of asking a woman how much money it would take to make her leave her boyfriend.

Much of the discussions end up on the subject of the modern welfare state at some point, with these CEOs talking about people who don't work hard enough. One thing that shocked me was hearing the man in the top image mentioning what his monthly salary is. It's surprisingly low, and is more in the range of what a corporate lawyer with a few years of experience earns in New York. Our CEOs would laugh at the thought of such a salary.

I just realized that I first saw the artist's work in an open studios event for the international studio & curatorial program (iscp) at Elizabeth Foundation. It was work from her series "Forever." See this Time Out NY review by Lauren Cornell for information on that project.

All photos are courtesy of Thierry Goldberg Projects. The artist also has a website.

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