Marco Godoy: My we, your we, our we / 18 April - 25 May 2019
The cup and ball betting game is a trick using three glasses on a surface and a single ball. The glasses are moved, and the ball appears and disappears. It reappears apparently transposed into another glass. This trick of leading the eye can be performed by a magician, but also by a cheat. The ball is always there, just not necessarily where you think it is.
Lets change the trick. The Bank of England's website states that since the gold standard stopped working, they have had to find other ways to maintain faith in the value of the pound. The words and value are exchanged.
What systems have been used to maintain value and authority? When is the concrete moment in which an object moves from having symbolic value to gaining real value, thus changing its status? In that moment when it transforms to become something else there must be some kind of magic trick as nothing substantively changes.
It is in this game, choreographies of pedestals, altars, national symbols, politics, economy, social divisions, hierarchies, images, judgments, borders, laws, financial value and authority participate. In this game even singing can be a form of iconoclasm. All these elements serve to strengthen an order a kind of camouflage over reality. After all, a passport only permits or bars entry to one piece of ground over another because there is a mutual belief in it. It is just a bit of paper.
It is all somewhere between social agreement and magic.
Let's try to reveal those games, understand them as distractions.
If the magic trick is revealed, can we take away the value ascribed by it be maintained? Can we reverse the trick that has been applied to objects, to collaborations, to imagined structures? Can we respond to them with new perspectives that lose their respect and leave only their actual value – fiscal, cultural or otherwise?
Perhaps alchemy was not really about changing lead into gold, but about maintaining political, economic and religious fictions and holding their value. Real alchemy has nothing to do with gold, but all to do with the games of the magician.
(Adapted from a conversation with Marco Godoy)
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