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Art House Index, a lecture - performance at the public programme of 13th Istanbul Biennial

In a new performance, presented for the first time during the lecture program of the upcoming 13th Istanbul Biennial, Vermeir & Heiremans continue their long-term research on the symbiosis of art, architecture, economy and law. Art House Index addresses the porous relation between art and finance, while researching the possible creation of a new financial instrument. The worlds of contemporary art and of high finance show an uncanny number of parallels. One only needs to think of the fictional attribution of value, relying to a large extent on the confidence and belief of their participants… While speaking to investment bankers about contemporary financial products and their intrinsic fictional nature, both artists were struck by the creativity, albeit with an alchemical side to it, of their line of business. It almost felt like speaking to conceptual artists, but for the fact that these people were operating in the “real world”. Using codes of fiction and reality, Art House Index presents a networked toolkit that merges art and real estate into a single lucrative financial instrument. Its value lies in the way it transforms an opaque immobile product that is difficult to trade, like a house or art, into a transparent, virtual investment vehicle that is very accessible for a great number of investors. The Art House Index aims to critically assert art itself as a producer of value. In their lecture-performance Vermeir & Heiremans generate the artistic and economic context that is necessary to design Art House Index as a speculative construct within and beyond the art market.

10-11 May 2013
Public Capital

The lecture program of the 13th Istanbul Biennial is curated by Andrea Phillips and Fulya Erdemci. In Public Capital their aim is to examine the relation between private capital and the making of publics in the context of Istanbul’s burgeoning art market. How does the art market shape the ways in which contemporary art is made public? How does money impact on ‘autonomous’ artistic production? How do the structures of the art market relate to broader questions of contemporary financialisation? Can we imagine ‘public money’ – an alchemical transformation of the basis of high finance?

The performance by Vermeir& Heiremans will be presented in the conference hall of the luxury hotel Marmara Taksim on 10 May, 18.30h at Taksim Square, Istanbul. Places are limited. You are kindly invited to make a reservation:

With the support of the Flemish Government