œconomy, an already tumultuous landscape where phantasms cross” – Romanian artists at gallery Oberwelt, Stuttgart (until december 30)


Reinsburgstrasse 93, D 70197 Stuttgart 

presents œconomy, an already tumultuous landscape where phantasms cross

Opening hours: December 7 – 30, 2013 | Thursday – Satuday: 15:00 – 19:00 & Monday: 21:30 – 24:00

Artists: Apparatus 22 (RO), Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan (RO), Radu Cioca (RO), Farid Fairuz (RO/LB/DE), Goldin+Senneby (SE), Carl & Pontus Olsson (NL), Tobias Sternberg (SE/DE), Wooloo (DK)


“oeconomy, an already tumultuous landscape where phantasms cross” brings together an international group of young artists who are developing a consistent body of work critically dealing with economic knowledge.

The works of Carl & Pontus Olsson and Tobias Sternberg are investigating new metaphors dealing with economy of art,  while another constellation of works by Apparatus 22, Radu Cioca, Farid Fairuz, Goldin+Senneby and Wooloo is producing narratives on an expanded array of economic questions.

Because it is lacking the consistent argumentation and reasoning inherent in scientific research, ersatz economics (economics understood and explained outside the academia, in this case by artists) is dismissed by most of the researchers as being non-discursive and irrelevant;

Lending special attention to the transgressive knowledge of “ersatz” economics – in the lines of thought opened by academic economists like Jack Amariglio, David F. Ruccio, Arjo Klamer – the selection of new and recent works aims to explore the disruptive potential of this particular form of storytelling and to recognize the fresh perspectives that artistic contributions are bringing to the attempts to examine current economic processes.

Apparatus 22 – “Portraying Simulacra”

object (variable dimensions) & digital questionnaire connected to internet, 2012 – 2013

Apparatus 22’s “Portraying Simulacra” digital questionnaire on the disruptive and illusory world of FAKE interweaves discordant positions: shame and fascination, poetry and fraud, order and disorder. Fake and its countless metamorphoses and disguises in fashion, art, tourism, music, media, sex toys, food etc. is deconstructed in a questionnaire mimicking a scientific research while also generously expanding its limits; Most important it bears very different roles and visual forms: the focus is not on the results of the survey, but on the actual answering of the questions as a way of reflecting on the profound implications FAKE is insinuating in the lives of the respondents. Furthermore an overwhelming layer of imagery is added to open up potentialities for cross-references on the recurring motif of FAKE. 


Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan –  “Bilateral agreement”

installation (A4 prints, wood, photographs), variable dimensions, 2013

The cooperation agreements signed by Fidel Castro with former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu included a financial loan which today is worth 1.2 billion dollars. Cuba denies any obligation in repaying this money to Romania, claiming the abandonment by the latter of the socialist cause.

The bilateral agreement conceived by Anca Benera and Arnold Estefán together with a lawyer is proposing to clear this debt for the time Cuba continues to stay socialist. A letter including this agreement offer was sent by post to the National Bank of Cuba and an eventual receipt confirmation is to be added to the work that humorously is showing that any attempt to suspend change is destined to fail.  

Radu Cioca – “Golden shoes for golden routes”

engraved bronze, leather,rubber, lacquer, black glass, 20 x 55 cm, 2010

 By taking a very utilitarian object – a pair of shoes – and adding a shiny golden sole as a way of displaying financial potency, Radu Cioca and his “Golden shoes for golden routes” is commenting on the institution of nouveau riche. Product of the rather new economic order installed in the post-communist countries the eastern European nouveau riche has become something of a public ridicule for shameless self-promotion, overly glamorous lifestyle and tasteless display of wealth in a period marked by profound economic crises.   About individualism, value, effort, aspirations and status, about contrast between reality and its projection.

Farid Fairuz– “AFIFARID”

Video performance (8’ 57’’), a veioza arte production, 2011

“AFIFARID” video of a performance Farid Fairuz did in the biggest mall complex in Bucharest is a twisted attack towards the engrossing program of shopping. Acting from the inside of the mall – this contemporary Coliseum of Consumerism – his appearance as a mascot is quickly transformed in an act of erratic shamanism for escaping the total void of living our life in the mall. Overconsumption, commodity culture, mainstream sexual norms and masculinity are humorously, yet merciless put into questions by the carnivalesque mascot. In a Stuttgart suffocated by malls, the issues and questions raised by Fairuz are having an increased significance and urgency. 

Goldin+Senneby – “Looking for Headless”

Book (prologue and chapters 1- 5), written by fictional author K.D, 2007 – on-going

“Looking for Headless” novel is pivotal part of Goldin+Senneby’s long-term exploration of the juridical construction of offshore financial centers in the intricate series of “Headless”. The investigation the artist duo is doing on a offshore company in the Bahamas has as backdrop the deterritorialized flow of finance capital that is melting all barriers and opening for infinite market speculations and disturbing degrees of greed.

In this hybrid story that could read as “docu-fictional murder-mystery” concepts drawn from economics are proliferating, aswell as an alternative cartography of the business connections of the offshore company with organized crime but also with the secret society known as Acéphale founded by Georges Bataille in the late ‘30s.

The full novel written by author K.D is set to be published in 2014

Carl & Pontus Olsson – “Expensive Fiasco / Cheap Success  (diagram)”

Installation (Black & White vinyl on wall), 2012 – ongoing

Carl & Pontus Olsson’s “Expensive Fiasco / Cheap Success  (diagram)”, is a visualization in progress of a long term series initiated by late artist Ioana Nemes in 2010 and works both as homage for an artist friend and as touching exploration of how value is negotiated and renegotiated relentlessly in the autonomous niche of art’s economy.

The series of neon pieces we thought to be developed over a period of 10 years and are addressed to art collectors that consult artfacts.net, nevertheless working against the economic logic on which the index is based, since the price of the work equaled the ranking index of Ioana Nemes. The more the work of Nemes would have climbed the hierarchy, the cheaper would be, and vice versa, the more she would have descend in the classification, the higher the work’s price.

Following Ioana Nemes’s position artfacts.net Index, the diagram is a thought-provoking gesture on topics like relevance/obsolesce, memory and on how physical disappearance is influencing the acceptance, dissemination and valuation of one’s work etc.

Tobias Sternberg – “Independent Art Objects”

Sculpture, 95x58x48cm, 2013

Tobias Sternberg presents a large sculpture specially created for Oberwelt in the series “Independent Art Objects”.   The work can be taken from the gallery by any visitor, but simply it cannot be owned.  By inscribing the works in the “Independent Art Objects” with a text explaining that “they are free and independent objects that cannot be owned, bought or sold, and therefore also not stolen”, Sternberg is actually lending the objects to whoever is holding them for the moment.

Releasing into world such a sculpture with an itinerary that is neither predictable, nor traceable Sternberg is conceptualizing a disobedient gesture overflowing the borders of ownership so highly praised in the art world and beyond.


Video performance(4’50’’), 2012

Acknowledging the immense financial power of Catholic Church, by singing “We Need You Now (More Than Ever)”, the  Wooloo collective and their guests are hoping for a sign of supreme generosity asking the Catholic Church to save Europe from becoming a modern ruin on the ground of this endless economic crises. Described by its authors as “a charity music video for the European economy” the work is a seductive wink for utopian reasoning that in the same time doesn’t sound displaced at all. Performers: Carsten Höller, Gregor Wroblewski, Katerina Gregos, Lillibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Mark Sladen, Mikhail Karikis, Pilvi Takala, Ursula Mayer, Wim Delvoye & Wooloo.


Initiated in december 2010 by Dragos Olea (1979) and late Ioana Nemes (1979 – 2011) as an artist-run nomadic gallery project, KILOBASE BUCHAREST aims to vigorously explore and push the limits and extents of the art economy and the artist’s influence on it both through the content of its projects, exhibitions and its modus operandi.

Exhibition design in collaboration with Liste Noire (RO)


The yearly program of Oberwelt and the “oeconomy, an already tumultuous landscape where phantasms cross” exhibition received generous support from: Land Baden-Württemberg   |    Stadt Stuttgart   |  Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg    |   Ritter Sport   |   Sandro Camilli 

Romanian Cultural Institute in Berlin | Akademie Schloss Solitude | members of Oberwelt                                                                                     

For “Portraying Simulacra” work Apparatus 22 received further generous support from Apparatus 22 Circle of Friends 2013 – 2014: Stefania Magidson & Blue Heron Foundation    |  MATT DESIGN    |    Augustina & Ioan Dumitraşcu    |    Laura Paraschiv    |     The Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation    |  add – business chance on art |  donors who wish to remain anonymous.

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