POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle, time/bank at Impossible Exchange, Frieze Fair
Jumping from unrated to the position of 8th in ArtReview’s most “powerful” art world figures, E-Flux crew Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle’s new-found fame failed to solicit teeming crowds at Frieze’s Impossible Exchange. Conceived by Filipa Oliveira and Miguel Amado, Impossible Exchange displays projects by one of six invited artists daily, highlighting E-Flux’s time/bank yesterday an online art barter system that exchanges “hour notes” (time) for requested services. The physical exhibition highlights possible representations of that project. An array of artist-commissioned currency resulted, amongst my favorite, the currency featuring Aranda and Vidokle’s face on the three hour and one hour bill, respectively [pictured below].
Wilson Diaz/Anna Maria Milan, time/bank contribution at Impossible Exchange, Frieze Fair
Perhaps the respect Aranda, Vidokle and the more than thirty invited artists garner in the art world make me a little hesitant to take the following position, but generally speaking, I don’t find barter all that interesting as an art practice. In an earlier permutation of the project, E-Flux opened a pawnshop in New York’s Lower East Side, housing a fair amount of art indistinguishable from items that might be found in a such a shop. Given that I garner enough understanding of exchange through day to day life, I was never sure what I was supposed to get out of the project, even after having attended one of their talks.
To my mind, time/bank finds greater success because the project meets real art world needs. I signed up for time/bank for the exchange of services I couldn’t otherwise afford, and that, I like.