In the garage this morning, delving into the archives, I discovered a box of (mostly sprayed) gold objects amidst other small metal items.
The fortune cookie below is one of the ‘Stock Exchange’ gold pieces from 2009. Finding it is timely, having been reminded of this piece of work by an artist I hadn’t seen in a while at the APT gallery, Deptford on Saturday. The gold objects were exhibited and put up for exchange in ‘The Stock Exchange’ cabinet as part of my contribution to the ‘Alchemy’ exhibition for the Deptford X arts festival. The fortune cookie has lasted surprisingly well, considering it’s foodstuff and has been knocking around for so long.
This is what I wrote about the state of financial affairs in the UK at that time, in 2009:
‘It’s been a year of uncertainty and in the current economic climate, nothing seems to be safe. People are struggling to cope with the possibility of losing everything – their work, their income, their homes, their relationships, their communities.
While the rich rush to transfer their investments into gold, the poor pack up their jewellery in envelopes in response to the glut of Cash For Gold ads on TV.
‘The Stock Exchange’ gives you an opportunity to put right some of the wrongs that have been inflicted upon us. This is your chance to be an Alchemist and turn your base metal into gold.
Just bring along an item of non-precious metal (lead, copper, aluminium, zinc) and exchange it for one of my golden offerings. Watch the process of reverse alchemy unfold, and help to transform gold into base metal.’
Six years on, and nothing has changed. I sprayed a total of 79 objects gold in all, the number 79 representing the atomic number of gold. Despite a lot of exchanges being made at the time, I still found plenty of ‘gold’ in the box marked ‘Stock Exchange‘ this morning. Saturday’s conversation with the artist who remembered the work and told me he still has his ‘golden treasure’ made me realise how relevant the sentiments expressed in the above piece of writing still are – degrees of unfairness and greed continue to be issues, as the gap between the rich & poor/the haves & have nots in our society grows ever wider. I might just need to resurrect this piece of work.