Liam Gillick


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A SHORT TEXT ON THE POSSIBILITIES OF CREATING AN ECONOMY OF EQUIVALENCE
Palais de Tokyo Contemporary Art Museum, Paris
26 January - 27 March 2005

This exhibition relates to the book "construccion de uno" which is being written in parallel to the exhibition structure. The starting point was a commission in the mid-1990s to propose a renovation for the town square of Kalmar in Sweden in collaboration with Danish architect Jeppe Aagard Andersen (who incidentally worked on the landscaping for La Defense in Paris). While the proposal did not prevail it began a relationship with the city, which continues here.

The book and the exhibition structure involve thinking about how to behave once a factory has closed and conditions of labour have devolved into a post-productive situation. The assumption behind the project is that the former "producers" choose to return to their place of work and re-start the construction of ideas rather than car-sized-objects. One of their first tasks is to remodel the building itself, cutting more windows in the façades. Another is to construct a mountain landscape to view from those windows and on their long walks home from the bars.

The book takes up the story of these semi-contented former factory workers once they have exhausted their productive play in their former site of work. Their days get consumed attempting to evaluate new models of production towards an economy of equivalence, where one unit of input, whether intellectual or physical can produce on unit of output. Their economic and social models seem to improve and become more and more elegant as the book progresses until we realise that it is they who have become the drained element in the process. Their energy and input into the models is increasingly supplementing the absences at the core of their theories. Yet, as may become clear, their desire to turn focus upon the question of how to fundamentally reorganise the way things are put together will have a lasting influence on others even while they eventually dissipate and dissolve into their former, now unrecognisable workplace.

The structures built for the Palais de Tokyo will be transported to Madrid in late 2005 and form the basis of the design for a bar and an exhibition at La Casa Encendida.