Wolfgang Becksteiner

Wertverschiebung, 2010 [shift of value]

The ambivalent combination of uncertainty and the promise of salvation, reflecting the basic human longing for security, is the subject of this sculpture. If religion points to the hereafter and the economy to gold as an eternally durable and secure material of stabilisation, it is art that defines questions instead of answers. Becksteiner transforms the sculpture’s original-sized gold ingots by casting them in the finest concrete and labelling them with the work’s title, serial number and edition number. The work, in the form of 999 bars, is stacked on a pallet and protected from access by grating.

 

The ambiguous combination of uncertainty and the promise for salvation is formed by a basic human desire for security. If religion points to the afterlife and the economy guarantees gold as eternally lasting and securing material, so it is art that defines questions instead of answers: the bars are not equivalent to the real size of a standardized gold bar.

 

Becksteiner exchanges their material into finest concrete, pours the bars and furnishes them with a work title, a serial and an edition number. The strategy of constituting a limited edition enables the artist to overcome the crisis and perfectly translate and subtilize high profile share values through art. Characteristically, the art work, a gift by the artists Günter and Anni Brus, is formed of 999 bars, stapled as goods on a pallet. Thus art invests in art which finally is freely accessible for the public.

Author: Elisabeth Fiedler 
Plan & Overview: Position 65
Owner: [Universalmuseum Joanneum]

Biography: Wolfgang Becksteiner

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