an exhibition about ‘filthy lucre’ by
at Elastic residence
Opening 13 January 6-9
Money is filthy because it is exchanged without the possibility of being properly 'cleaned'. The same material used to pay the prostitute or bribe the policeman turns up in the charity box, or is used to purchase pleasure for the philanthropist.
Before being exchanged on the street or in a shop, notes or bills are secured inside the trousers; either close to the groin or the fat of one's arse, or else kept in leather against the heart.The honest hand that extends to accept the piece of printed paper also agrees to pass it on and does so with a measure of good faith in the note's face value.The face of the note itself holds an aesthetic importance - prettied up and underwritten by ornamentation and design - it is commissioned to find acceptance in another hand regardless of how dirty and bruised this commission eventually causes it to appear.
The exhibition 'Schmutzgeld' presents 4 to 5 small works around the theme of 'dirty money' or, as it is phrased in colloquial english; 'filthy lucre'. A premise of the theme is that the popular attribution of filthiness to money is not just a reference to the means by which it is procured, but rather expresses an ambivalence or horror at a dark space that separates its nominal and its material value.
Printed money is unlike gold which, with a specific gravity almost twenty times that of water, is amaterial better suited to remain motionless in vaults or safes. In contrast, the weightlessness frippery of paper money encourages a continual and promiscuous kind of passage through the hands of the public body.For over a century the health of the economy has depended on the constancy of the movement of printed paper money. If circulation slows or, under the hysterical logic of hyper-inflation, moves too quickly, then the body sickens. When people mean to speak cynically of money's corrupting power and say that all money is 'blood money' they are acknowledging a simple mechanical truth about its essential nature. Money is filthy because it is exchanged without the possibility of being properly 'cleaned'. The same material used to pay the prostitute or bribe the policeman turns up in the charity box, or is used to purchase pleasure for the philanthropist.
Andrew Hurle studied printmedia at the Canberra School of Art in the early 1980s, working with photocopiers and screened image reproduction techniques. He moved to Melbourne in 1989 to study at the Victorian College of the Arts and around this time began to use digital photocopiers and computers. Andrew now lives and works in Sydney, exhibiting with the Darren Knight Gallery as well as smaller artist-run galleries in Sydney and Melbourne. He was a member of the Elastic artist-run gallery and recently co-edited the 180 page Elastic artists publication.
For the past decade his work has been concerned with economies of printed reproduction. His most recent exhibitions have investigated the relation between ornamentation and printed money, the materiality of digital pornography in print, and optical stereo lenticular imaging. Andrew Hurle currently lectures at Sydney College of the Arts in Digital Print and Studio Theory and also at the University of Technology, Sydney in the areas of computer typography and web design.