Filthy lucre

Art Life Aug 10, 2009 No Comments

“Money might be best described by Jean Baudrillard’s fabricated quotation from Ecclesiastes: ‘The simulacrum is true.’ In modern times, money’s material value is disconnected from its assumed value; it is basically nothing more than a promise. Rather than being backed by either silver or gold, it is based on confidence in a certain institution – in the Federal Reserve, in the case of the US, or the Bank of England, in the case of the UK. In an era of bailouts and the euphemistic ‘quantitative easing’, both institutions are more than a little precarious.

“In the US, designer Richard Smith wants to save our currency by re-branding it. Without waiting for government approval (or perhaps realizing that Obama has more than enough on his plate), Smith set up his own initiative to re-design the dollar. To that end he established a competition that ended – appropriately enough – on the fourth of July. A British brand consultant based in New York, Smith is already known for re-tooling the image of gold for the Gold Council, and has worked for both retail corporation Target and Exxon Mobil (all of whom may well want a say in the future of the dollar bill).”

The Buck Stops Here, Frieze

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