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M+A [2017]

Performed at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery [University of British Columbia]
January 13th - April 9th, 2017

by Simon Goldin + Jakob Senneby
with Paul Leong (investment banker), Jo Randerson (playwright), Anna Heymowska (set designer), Johan Hjerpe (graphic designer), Ybodon (computer scientist), Sebastien Archibald (actor January 13th - February 10th), Milton Lim (actor February 12th - March 6th)

“M&A is the first in a series of productions explicitly utilizing the exhibition infrastructure as “laboratory” for developing algorithmic trading models. New York-based investment banker Paul Leong of Blackstone has developed a trading strategy especially for this exhibition, identifying early signs of mergers and acquisitions. Leong’s “Merger Prediction Strategy” has been algorithmically implemented by an anonymous computer scientist and will be tested for the first time during the exhibition, with trading starting on the day of the opening.

“Goldin+Senneby have worked concurrently with playwright Jo Randerson, who has scripted a speculative scene for the gallery, which will be rehearsed by an actor on a daily basis. The theatrical production is entirely dependent on the speculations’ financial performance. The rehearsals will continue as long as the trading budget lasts. The project speculates on a variety of issues like the precariousness of labour in conjunction to the variations in funding both from private and public sources. It problematizes the relationship between the world of art and that of finance, against the backdrop of globalization and its local consequences.”

Goldin+Senneby (since 2004) is a framework for collaboration set up by Swedish artists Simon Goldin and Jakob Senneby; exploring juridical, financial and spatial constructs through notions of the performative and the virtual. Their collaboration started with The Port (2004-06); acting in an emerging public sphere constructed through digital code. In their more recent body of work, known as Headless (2007 -), they approach the sphere of offshore finance, and its production of virtual space through legal code. Looking at strategies of withdrawal and secrecy, they trace an offshore company on the Bahamas called Headless Ltd. A ghostwritten detective novel continuously narrates their investigations.  Since 2010 their work has focused on The Nordenskiöld Model, an experiment in theatrical finance, in which they attempt to (re)enact the anarcho-alchemical scheme of 18th century alchemist August Nordenskiöld on the financial markets of today.

Solo exhibitions include: ‘M&A’, Artspace NZ, Auckland (2013); ‘I dispense, divide, assign, keep, hold’ NAK, Aachen (2012); ‘Standard Length of a Miracle’, CAC, Vilnius (2011); ‘The Decapitation of Money’, Kadist, Paris (2010); ‘Headless. From the public record’, Index, Stockholm (2009); ‘Goldin+Senneby: Headless’, The Power Plant, Toronto (2008). Group exhibitions include: ‘Art Turning Left’, Tate Liverpool (2013); ‘Mom, am I barbarian?’, 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013); ‘The Deep of the Modern’, Manifesta 9, Genk (2012); ‘The End of Money’, Witte de With, Rotterdam (2011); ‘The Moderna Exhibition’, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2010); ‘Uneven Geographies’, Nottingham Contemporary (2010); ‘In living contact’, 28:th Bienal de Sao Paulo (2008). Residencies include: Headlands, San Francisco (2012); SALT, Istanbul (2012); Kadist, Paris (2010); Gasworks, London (2008); IASPIS, Stockholm (2007).

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