Fritzia Irizar’s work, Illusion and Disappointment, guides us through transformations from worth to worthlessness and back again. The displayed gold pieces take their shape from the scrapings on lottery tickets. The scrapes reveal a tiny, disposable ruin made of hopefulness and desperation. Every fingernail scratch reveals a dirty little symptom of a lifetime of chance occurrences on the body, in the body, in the mind. It is a structured engagement with chance and potential worth. Irizar’s work is surprising and highly unlikely, just like the results of a lottery ticket: a chance reality determined by chance processes. Through her process, a worthless, mildly disappointing scratch becomes a golden object. It’s a kind of reverence of chance. A minor gesture by a random person transforms a worthless, discarded paper into a carefully considered, crafted object made of a rare material. In this transformation chance and dreams collide.
Stefanos Tsivopoulos’ ambitious, three-part video piece questions the role of money, the “homogenizing power of a single currency,” as Tsivopoulos states. Three video sequences beautifully portray the effect of money on relationships and worth. We see an African immigrant who wanders the streets of Athens pushing a supermarket trolley and collecting scrap metal to sell; an artist who observes and records street scenes at random with his iPad, searching for inspiration in the confusing landscape of the city; an art collector suffering from dementia, who, living alone in a mansion, compulsively creates origami flowers using Euro banknotes. The work is an experiential critique of existing monolithic monetary systems as well as a proposal with well-researched examples of possible exchange systems. Money in this world is misplaced concreteness -- a mistaken projection of reality on a vast scale. One person’s abandoned, formerly worthy possession becomes another’s discovery. A rejected object becomes a lifesaver for someone else. Worth here is local, relative, transferable, and individual.