In Never We Trust
June 8—July 17, 2010
Part performance, part sculptural intervention, In Never We Trust speaks wryly to the ease that financial institutions have to produce negative capital through the unregulated use of fractional reserve banking. The artist spent hours crumpling up the thousands of dollar bills that appear on the gallery floor. Piles of green-and-white notes are contained within Super Mario Brothers cloud-like painted fences, while others are strewn in corners and near windows. Mister Never’s crumpled bills are modeled after those produced and distributed by the U.S. Treasury. His sardonic capital mimics our own; he replaces the iconic historical portraits, watermarks, denominations, and hybrid symbols emblazoned on our paper money with mask-like figures and stylized graphics. The artist’s repeated act of crumpling and then throwing the money on the ground speaks to both the excesses in our society and the casualness with which financial institutions and individuals can manipulate the economic marketplace. The Mister Never currency, now an artifact of the artist’s performance, floods the gallery, thereby connecting the artist to an institution and marketplace that inflates his worth.