Christin Lahr

Solo Exhibition

Aksioma | Project Space
Komenskega 18, Ljubljana

19 September - 5 October 2012

Artist's presentation and exhibition opening:

WED 19 September 2012 at 7 pm


WED, 19 September 2012 from 8 pm - 10 pm
THU, 20 and FRI, 21 September 2012 from 12 pm - 6 pm

Since May 31, 2009 Christin Lahr has been transferring one cent a day to the German Federal Ministry of Finance, thus helping to counter the growing mountain of debt in homeopathic doses. In the „reason for payment“ field, she always writes 108 characters from Capital by Marx. Bit by bit, the entire text of the book will be transferred into the state's central account via online banking. The transmission of the roughly 15,709 cents and 1,696,500 characters will take about 43 years. The increase in value of the capital investment is not even included, nor are the required labor and lifetime or the added value through cultural and symbolic capital calculated into this. Due to the exponential effects of interest and compound interest, her donation will be able to pay off the national debt of 31 May 2009, 1,746,599,197,210 Euro, within 300 years.

CAPITAL, which inscribes itself irrevocably into accounts and archives, is a donation to the entire people, entered into the state budget, administered by the currently elected representatives, safely stored at the Bundesbank. Each of the money transfers is documented by a screenshot, printed out once, signed, and given away to individual citizens. In “over-subscriptions” on translucent paper, I cross out character by character and thus produce an unreadable notation of “Capital”, consisting of counting marks and numerals.

The work counteracts the ruling political economy and senseless, degrading bureaucratism with the gesture of giving, and poses the question of meaning. The system sees itself in a mirror. Once a day, the micro-donations upset the state’s balance sheet. They triggers a sustained debate on values that produces continuous reflections and echoes.

During the exhibition the artist will work at a capital desk, taking over a director´s chair, exposing bureaucratic structures, delivering an illustrative insight into the cultivation of capital and performing: MACHT GESCHENKE: THE MAKING OF CAPITAL.

The project received the Ars Electronica 2011 Award of Distinction.

*The German title MACHT GESCHENKE is a play on words implying “CREATE GIFTS”, or “GIFTS OF POWER” as well as “POWERFUL GIFTS”

MACHT GESCHENKE: Das Kapital at Aksioma | Project Space

Production: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2012

Artistic Director: Janez Janša
Executive Producer: Marcela Okretič
Assistant Production: Sonja Grdina
Public Relations: Mojca Zupanič
Technician: Valter Udovičić

The programme of Aksioma Institute is supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana

Sponsor: Datacenter d.o.o.

Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana

Christin Lahr MACHT GESCHENKE: DAS KAPITAL - A Critique of Political Economy
Donation to the Federal Republic of Germany; daily transfer of Capital to the Federal Ministry of Finance, 2009 - ca. 2052
Christin Lahr

Christin Lahr (1965, Munich) lives and works as an artist, curator and professor for Media Art in Berlin and Leipzig. She has received several scholarships and awards and exhibited in Germany and abroad. Since 1990 she has been teaching at different universities as well as curating shows for instance at the RealismusStudio of NGBK Berlin. Since 2001 Lahr is a Professor for Media Art at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig.