August 16th, 2011 § 0 comments

smba3Last Saturday the exhibition ‘Informality’ opened at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. This very exhibition arises from the increasing attention being given to the role of banks in our economy, and the interest in alternatives to their role. It is also a first reflection on the role of art and artists in an atmosphere of crisis and cuts in cultural funding.

‘Informality’ focuses specifically on the concept of the informal economy. The informal economy is that part of commercial and the service sector that operates outside of the circuit of formal financial transactions—and thus is hidden from the sight of the Revenue Service and other governmental institutions that control business and economic affairs, and the banks themselves. In the West the informal economy makes up about 11% of the total economy. On other continents, such as Africa and Latin America, but also in former East Bloc countries, the informal economy often makes up the largest part of the total economy.

‘Informality’ examines the phenomenon from the perspective of art.

We were asked by the Domestic Workers Union and Matthijs de Bruijne (with whom we created the Garbage Museum) to contribute to ‘Informality: Art, economics, precarity.’ The project is part of the upcoming campaign. For the very work the (often undocumented) domestic workers were asked to supply notes about their work—analogous to the domestic memos on refrigerators and kitchen counters that are often the only form of communication between them and their bosses. Result is to be seen until the second of October @ SMBA, Rozenstraat 59 | 1016 NN Amsterdam.

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