Contact:
ask / @ / nikolai-ishchuk / . / com


Indexhibit

Big Bucks

2009—ongoing
Lightjet / Lambda prints

Editions:
40x40 in, 5+3APs
72x72 in, 3+2APs)
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In this series, I explore money as an abstract concept that we often confuse with its tangible representation – banknotes.

Fredric Jameson describes how in late capitalism money became one step further removed from means of production through financial instruments, i.e. it became an abstraction of itself. Also, in his seminal essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Walter Benjamin points to coin minting, i.e. money making, as the first example of mass reproduction of art. Money has always been a fecund subject for the arts, but, in the wake of the financial meltdown sweeping the world economy, a contemporary interpretation is all the more pertinent. That’s all there is left to do really – with whatever is left.

The prints are derived from actual banknotes, whose value however is exposed as fictitious and undermined through enlargement, color shifts and layering. It is worth noting that these are not scans as many are quick to assume. In fact, scanners have built-in anti-counterfeiting safeguards.

These images are both celebrations and condemnations, totems and tombstones. They also make the ultimate meta-exhibition. Let’s face it, in the contemporary art world it was only a matter of time before money itself would be put on the walls.

 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_Big Bucks — USD 1 (1000px) FULL.jpg
USD 1
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_Big Bucks — GBP 50 (1000px) FULL.jpg
GBP 50
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_N_Ishchuk-BoEperm-2012-680.jpg
Permission to reproduce Bank of England banknotes
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_N_Ishchuk_BigBucks-Install-680.jpg
Installation view at Diemar/Noble, London, 2011
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_Big Bucks — EUR 500 (1000px) FULL.jpg
EUR 500
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_Big Bucks — BRL 1 (1000px) FULL.jpg
BRL 1
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_Big Bucks — AUD 5 (1000px) FULL.jpg
AUD 5
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_Big Bucks — AUD 10 (1000px) FULL.jpg
AUD 10
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_Big Bucks — CHF 10 (1000px).jpg
CHF 10
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_Big Bucks — CHF 50 (1000px) FULL.jpg
CHF 50
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_Big Bucks — MXN 20 (1000px).jpg
MXN 20
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_Big Bucks — ZWD 100tn (1000px) FULL.jpg
ZWD 100 000 000 000 000
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_Big Bucks — RUR 1000 (1000px).jpg
RUR 1000
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_Big Bucks — CNY 0-10 (1000px).jpg
CNY 0.10
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_Big Bucks — CNY 1 (1000px).jpg
CNY 1
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_Big Bucks — BYR 100000 test (1000).jpg
BYR 100 000
 
http://nikolai-ishchuk.com/files/gimgs/th-10_Big Bucks — USD 100 (1000px).jpg
USD 100