An annex to the Geofinancial Lexicon
by Eline Benjaminsen
From May 22 to August 29 2021 at Waassertuerm
Financial jargon has often been said to be deliberately obscure; by forging complexity it distracts public interest. Scrolling through the Financial Times dictionary of financial terms, Sami Hammana discovered that much of the vocabulary used by financial workers on the daily allude to the natural world. “If there is such a convergence” between nature and the market, he asks, “then capitalist violence and environmental degradation are not only inseparable, but hold similar, if not identical, logics in generating strategies of emancipation” (Hammana, The Geofinancial Lexicon, 2018).
Wildly inspired by terms such as ‘animal spirits’, ’dead cat bounce’, ‘iceberg order’, ‘tripple witching’ and ‘vampire squid’, Benjaminsen set out to image these visceral oddities for her latest work “Collapsed Mythologies. An annex to the Geofinancial Lexicon”. Created during the artist’s residency at the Centre national de l’audiovisuel in Luxembourg, the project aims at making visual pleas for relating to these financial fictions, disentangling them from their obscurity while studying their etymologies and mythologies. As the home of the largest international investment fund industry, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has recently established itself as a center of innovation within green markets and sustainable investing - an ideal framework for this research.
Between what these terms mean (as in financial actions usually abstracted from ecological derivatives) and the natural world that they signify, lie rich mythological histories.
- 3D Animations
Daniela Del Fabbro, in close collaboration with Marielle Kaufmann
- Technical support
- Technical crew
Dirk Berghmans, Kurt Gelhausen, Dine Neves, Alexandre Useldinger
- Photography / Documentation
Anne-Laure Letellier & Marielle Kaufmann
- Graphic Design
Tamara Schiebahn / standart
Projet developed in the framework of the CNA's artist in residency program and presented as part of the European Month of Photography, Luxembourg.
With a curiosity around how value is measured in the world today, monetarily and otherwise, I explore what I view as a great contradiction: how deeply influential market processes often escape our physical realm. I do this through photographic follow-the-money narratives that combine photographic prints, video and text in mixed media installations.
Concerned by how the lacking visuality of socio-economic processes may affect our ability to engage with them, I am interested in how the creation of imagery might enable us to observe them clearer. My work is therefore occupied with the potentiality of storytelling as a tool for ‘debunking by exposing' what I view as quite non-sensical results that the logic of globalized capitalism produces today. The problem is that these results often lack visual queues. By focusing on what is strictly physical – that which can be photographed, I aim to confront the viewers with the limits of their own vision. This often results in the creation of ‘impossible documents’ - images that are perhaps mainly successful in their failure to document anything at all. What they depict is a material absence of unperceivable infrastructure.
Long-term collaborative work is central in my practice. Working together with a diversity of experts such as researchers, journalists and designers helps in the creation of a strong foundation for my visual story-telling.
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