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the most precious of all

the first joint exhibition by the institut für wahre kunst began on the 20th of february 2009. for 15 minutes a street parade led by six improvising tuba players broke the silence of an otherwise quiet district as it passed graveyard walls, stonemasons and gravestones. puzzled eyes set in faces pressed against glass showered golden brass with curiosity, and dozens of artophiles waited to storm through the door of the temporary gallery at rudolfstraße 13 b. think the macy’s sale but with cobbles.

as eric piltz promised to the thirsty audience in his opening address, “this is not about longing for a marketless artistic paradise which may have existed in the past or might be created in the future. neither is it about demonizing the existence of a system which also views art in terms of financial benchmarks. on the contrary, it is a matter of visualizing the prevailing structures, of creating transparency where a veil of ignorance often clouds the space between artists and beholders of art.”

a set of “operating instructions” offering background information was available as an accompaniment to the exhibition, which comprised art of the painted, performed, installed and photographed varieties. those particularly taken by a specific piece were able to make a bid for it – and then forced to wait for a nail-biting week before finding out whether or not they would become its proud new owner. bid slips were to be filled out anonymously and placed in one of the test tubes made available specifically for the purpose of housing them and keeping them confidential. after the stroke of midnight, the scrum which had established itself in the exhibition spaces made its way to the basement for a boogie – and the first bids were made.


the results of the experimental blind auction were announced on the occasion of the finissage on the 27th of february. two hosts read out the 16 bids before revealing the 26 minimum bids set by the artists.despite being sold for 111 euros, “alles muss raus” – a piece of photography by lysann németh – only attracted a bid slightly above the minimum price set by the artist. the other bids received varied dramatically, with many pieces therefore remaining in the possession of the respective artists. it is nevertheless noteworthy that requests for the exhibition of individual pieces in public spaces “courtesy of the artist” were also received.  

the most precious of all

an exhibition featuring works by

:: nina schmidt :: saskia göldner ::
:: elke jänicke  :: lysann németh ::

a glass laboratory and an experiment: how much dignity actually exists in the topsy-turvy world of the art market, and are there opportunities to survive as an artist without hype? an exhibition held between the 20th and 27th of february 2009 collated the results of the institut für wahre kunst’s investigations into these issues in the form of creative work debating the problematic relationship between contemporary art and the material and non-material appreciation thereof. four young lady artists (one self-taught, two students of free art, one graduate free artist) reflected on their perspectives on the art market, which were shown to be coloured by both the vagaries of a system that attempts to assess artistic achievements using financial benchmarks and the illusion that creative work is entirely free of existential pressure.

the exhibition was accompanied by a blind auction which saw bidders forced to consider not only their own investment in terms of subjective, aesthetic and commercial aspects, but also the blood, sweat and tears invested by the artist in the respective piece. both the minimum bids set in advance by the artists themselves and the bids made over the course of the exhibition were kept secret until the results of the auction were announced. would the artists’ own valuations match those of the potential buyers, or would their material assessments prove to be poles apart?

pdf-programm : download