The Value of Nothing

The Value of Nothing


Priscila Fernandes, For a Better World, 2012.

August 27, 2014

The Value of Nothing
4 September–16 November 2014

TENT Rotterdam
Witte de Withstraat 50
3012BR Rotterdam
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11–18h

T +31104135498

Meschac Gaba, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Iratxe Jaio + Klaas van Gorkum, Priscila Fernandes, Helmut Smits, Gil & Moti, Oblique International, Kym Ward, Roel Roscam Abbing, Weronika Zielinska, Antonia Hirsch, Jonas Staal, Remco Torenbosch, Claire Fontaine, Paolo Cirio, Bill Balaskas, Jonas Lund, ZUS

Curated by: Jesse van Oosten (TENT) and Michel van Dartel (independent curator, V2_)

On Thursday 4 September, TENT Rotterdam opens The Value of Nothing with five newly commissioned projects, a group exhibition, Fieldwork Residencies, and an in-depth public program in which local and international artists reflect on our current economies and value systems.

The Value of Nothing springs from long-term research initiated by TENT into shifts in thinking about value and economy, and the role that art can play therein. In the aftermath of the global economic crisis increasingly urgent questions arise that are related to neoliberal values seeping into almost every aspect of our lives. In addition to the known financial and economic criteria, can we articulate different ideas about the concept of value? What are other possible forms of economic exchange? And what do these alternatives mean for how value manifests itself? 

The Value of Nothing presents artists who contribute to the current debate on the commercialization of society, expose the underlying mechanisms, or propose alternative strategies. They reveal value beyond the mainstream market, like Jeanne van Heeswijk’s project in Rotterdam’s Afrikaanderwijk district, or show that trade in a global economy also means non-monetary cultural exchange, as in Meschac Gaba’s artistic currency exchange bureau. Others, such as Remco Torenbosch, immerse themselves in the beauty and philosophical idea behind the distribution of goods, or like Paolo Cirio, deliver concrete possibilities for dodging tax.

The Value of Nothing brings together artistic practices and projects that reflect our current economies and value systems, or that focus on possible alternatives. Meschac Gaba, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Jonas Lund, Helmut Smits and Remco Torenbosch present newly commissioned works. Gil & Moti, Weronika Zielinska, Roel Roscam Abbing, Kym Ward and Oblique International will each participate in a Fieldwork Residency at a Rotterdam-based company or organization. They will each develop a proposal that deals with the values held or produced by the organisation, such as its hospitality to outsiders, equality on the workfloor, or success criteria. The proposals will be presented in TENT during Fieldwork Friday, on 3 and 24 October. In addition, on 16 October and 13 November, curator and writer Nat Muller organises Breaking the Bank: a two-part event in which academics, journalists, and other practitioners explore how art, value and the global economy are interrelated. In a research project, Erasmus University College students will discuss and explore the exhibition’s topics. 

Public program

Thursday 4 September, 17h

Fieldwork Friday 
Friday 3 October, 17h
Artist talks by Roel Roscam Abbing, Gil & Moti, and Kym Ward
With responses by philosopher Karim Benammar, NetExpert, and VS Schoonmaak BV

Breaking the Bank I: Art, Value and the Global Economy
Thursday 16 October, 20h
First of a two-part event led by Nat Muller in which academics, artists and journalists scrutinise the relationships between art, value, and global economy. With, amongst others, writers/artists Alana Jelinek (This is Not Art: Activism and Other ‘Not-Art’, 2013) and Anna Moreno.
Fieldwork Friday
Friday 24 October, 17h
Artist talks by Weronika Zielinska, Oblique International
With responses by journalist Koen Haegens, Hotel Van Walsum, and Marco Tieleman Coaching

TENT Halloween – a night to remember
Friday 31 October

Breaking the Bank II: Art, Value and the Global Economy
Thursday 13 November, 20h
Second part of the event led by Nat Muller in which academics, artists and journalists scrutinise the relationships between art, value, and global economy. With, amongst others, noted journalist Georgina Adam (Big Bucks: The Explosion of the Art Market in the 21st Century, 2014)

The Rotterdam architecture firm ZUS designed objects that serve as a stage for the public program.

Thanks to Stichting DOEN, SNS REAAL Fonds, Mondriaan Fonds, and CBK Rotterdam.


TENT Rotterdam presents The Value of Nothing
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August 27, 2014

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