Thursday, 8 October 2009

Artist's Debt

Artist's Debt

1999 - 2013, Dimensions variable, £8026.65.

Last updated Feb 2010

In the modern global market, debts are traded and sold like assets. A debt has no physical form and yet it exists, undeniably. It is immaterial but also measurable; it has a precise dimension that grows and/or erodes over time. As a young sculptor, I created a debt to the state: a work that would prove to be the most enduring and politically relevant product of my early studies. Inspired, in part, by Pierre Manzoni's seminal work, Artist's Shit (1961), this piece comes with a framed bank statement to verify its conjoined scale and market price. Although ‘Artist’s Debt’ (1999 – 2012) has an intrinsic and increasing monitory value, transferring it to a collector represents a significant economic and artistic challenge; if it were purchased, the work would effectively cease to exist. Please note that the printed statement is not ‘Art’, it is just a legal document that confirms the debt’s existence, authorship and volume. ‘Artist’s Debt’ is a ‘worthless’ piece of conceptual art that continues a broader social interest in the notions of ‘owing’ and being ‘without value’.

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