Supermarket of Images
Red Brick Art Museum will present Le supermarché des images on May 28 thanks to the efforts of Chief Curator Peter Szendy, professor of Comparative Literature and Humanities at Brown University, and assistants Emmanuel Alloa and Marta Ponsa. 39 artists and groups will participate and offer over 50 works using a variety of media, such as photography, painting, sculpture, videos, and installations. Artists include Maurizio Cattelan, Yves Klein, Andreas Gursky, Robert Bresson, William Kentridge, Sophie Calle, and Kevin Abosch, the last being an NFT artist who has recently found himself standing in the limelight.
The theme is inspired by the concept of “iconomy” that developed in Peter Szendy’s 2017 book Visible Supermarkets: The Universal Economy of Images. Living during an era marked by image overproduction, he sought to explore a new way of understanding these icons. It was more appropriate than ever to ask questions about the economic importance of images and their storage, velocity of circulation, component materials, and fluctuations in value. how to represent economic processes that often escape our mind, and how to think about the image from an economic standpoint. In short, how images have become a new form of capital.
In concert with the “supermarket” metaphor, the exhibition discusses five image-based perspectives: “Stocks, Raw Materials, Work, Values and Exchanges”. The event aims to take a keen look at the profit and loss of the image economy and shall present current hot topics including the abuses of images, internet giants and their fingers in every pie, the protection of personal information, “micro jobs” and digital labor, and cryptocurrencies. Those are the “bricks” that we use to construct the world we live in today and our modern lifestyle which undergoes reshaping and changing.
As part of the 15th Le Festival Croisements, Le supermarché des images (The Supermarket of Images) is organized by the Jeu de Paume and the Ambassade de France en Chine, with the support of the Institut français de Pékin.