Interest Free

Alex Gawronski Interest Free 1
Alex Gawronski, Interest Free 2
Alex Gawronski, Interest Free 3
Alex Gawronski, Interest Free 4

Alex Gawronski: Interest Free, 2015

(Timber, paint, opaque perspex, hinges, polaroid)

KNULP, Sydney

The installation Interest Free hinged on the absurdly humorous conceit of hand-building, in metallic painted timber and perspex, the superficial ‘look’ of one of the world’s most venerated, coveted and commercially successful galleries – the Gagosian in New York’s Chelsea district. The work’s blind facade, suggesting banking or some other type of generally innaccessible corporate activity, at the same time symbolised ultimate institutional success in a global art world context. The underlying narrative of the work ironically suggested that the mere transposition of an attitude of ‘facadism’ could translate into actual career success anywhere. Thus the recreation of the appearance of institutional success, artistic and financial,  could generate such success elsewhere including (absurdly) out of an autonomous artist run space founded on principles of sustainablity.

In the end, it is the ‘look’ that counts. And the look – cold, severe, concealing – hinted at a dialogue with dominant discourses of global high-finance. The polaroid jammed between the fake doors was a photo of the actual Gagosian facade although in this instance photographed from a computer screen. The media-specificity of the polaroid, implying spontaneity and locational authenticity, was subverted – although this was not immediately apparent – once it had been rerouted via the generic universality of screen-based imagery. The presumed universality of screen-based content echoed in the screen-like facade of the work seemingly assured a related easy and instantaneous transference of the imagery of ‘success’.

Of course, the title ‘Interest Free’ punned on the generally inflated and arguably arbitrary value of art exhibited in ultra high-end commercial galleries – and the hierarchical economies they establish across regions and cultures – and on the visual blankness and ‘disinterest’ of the work itself; doors that promised to reveal ‘something’ (art as a precious secret) that remained forever un-enterable.  At the same time the work functioned in its insistent frontality as a kind of ‘painting’ or minimalist grid sculpture, but of a home-spun vernacular kind.

Written by alex gawronski

December 19, 2015 at 9:01 PM