What Would a Museum of Capitalism Look Like?

August 19, 2017 - garden totes

In 2010, in a debate during a Marxism Festival, in London, a political
theorist Alex Callinicos speculated that, someday, he would like to
visit a museum of capitalism—an establishment same to South Africa’s
Apartheid Museum. When a Oakland-based curators Timothy Furstnau and
Andrea Steves initial schooled of Callinicos’s comment, they wondered what
such a museum would demeanour like. The duo, that operates underneath a moniker FICTILIS, creates exhibitions and interventions charcterised by a playful
interrogation of amicable institutions and confused bounds between
fiction and reality. In 2015, they began acid for a space to house
their museum, focussing on Oakland’s semi-industrial waterfront and
partnering with a internal nonprofit organization, a Jack London
Improvement District. In 2016, FICTILIS perceived a
two-hundred-and-fifteen-thousand-dollar curatorial extend from a Emily
Hall Tremaine Foundation, and cumulative a use of a cavernous, two-story
commercial space in Jack London Square that had left unleased for years.
The space still binds vestiges of a prior tenant, an upscale market
that never entirely materialized. (Quotations about food by Virginia Woolf,
Julia Child, and James Beard accoutre a walls downstairs.) “There’s no
way in ruin we’d be means to compensate even a fragment of a seeking cost for
a space like this,” Furstnau, who is mild-mannered and thin, with a puff
of brownish-red hair that looks like a inside of a dandelion, told me in
June, shortly before a museum’s opening night. “I theory we could say
we’re being easily hosted by a landlord.”

The designation was good underway. The Museum of Capitalism takes a
retro-futuristic approach, envisioning a universe in that capitalism is
obsolete. “Capitalism competence one day end, nonetheless that, in itself,
shouldn’t be all that controversial,” Furstnau said, citing Stein’s Law,
coined by a mercantile confidant to Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford: “If
something can't go on forever, it will stop.” In a core of a
wraparound mezzanine, above a red steel structure creatively built for
food-vender stalls, a collection of banners, by a Danish artists’
group Superflex, embellished with a logos of banks that went broke (or
were acquired) during a 2008 financial crisis, were being hung.

Oakland is a third city to residence a museum of capitalism, joining
Berlin and Brussels. There have also been exhibits on a theme that
opted out of critique: in 1982, Oklahoma Christian University
constructed Enterprise Square, a collection of multimedia
exhibits—including an arcade game, “Protect Your Rights,” in which
players shot during aliens encroaching on their private property, and an
animatronic arrangement of singing
, that extolled
the virtues of a giveaway marketplace and a hazards of supervision overreach.
(That museum sealed in 1999.) Though FICTILIS has been operative on the
Museum of Capitalism for years, a housing and homelessness crises and
yawning mercantile inequality in a Bay Area have done a exhibition
feel quite timely. Nevertheless, FICTILIS has fielded complaints
that a project, formerly seen as too political, is, in light of the
current domestic climate, no longer domestic enough. Furstnau also
confessed that a plan had captivated seductiveness from people who might
not have accepted a tone. “We’ve gotten a few e-mails from people
saying, ‘Oh, this sounds great, we would present to such a museum’—kind of
like a Randian pro-free-market museum or whatever,” he said.

Steves, who was wearing overalls and a apparatus belt, forsaken by the
boardroom list where we were sitting, on a corner of a gallery that
would residence Oliver Ressler’s square “Alternative Economics, Alternative
Societies”—which consists of videos of economists and historians
discussing systems like libertarian municipalism and anarchist
consensual democracy. She constructed a tiny card box. “Do we know
about understanding toys?” she asked. “If Morgan Stanley invests in a Olive
Garden, afterwards a deal-toy association competence be hired to make a Lucite
tombstone with small pieces of salad and tomatoes in it that celebrates
that deal,” she said. Jasper Waters, an industrial designer, had
designed a understanding fondle for FICTILIS’s project, a relic a distance of a
paperweight, with a marble base. “Congratulations on a Investment from
the United States Department of a Treasury,” it said, above a names
of several banks and firms—Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Citibank—and
the dollar amounts any one perceived in a 2008 supervision bailout.
Inside a Lucite was a graph of a Dow plummeting. (The Museum of
American Finance, on Wall Street, also has a deal-toy collection.)

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