'untitled currency' by tony oursler at art unlimited, art basel 2008
'untitled currency' by tony oursler at art unlimited, art basel 2008 'untitled currency' by tony oursler at art unlimited, art basel 2008
jun 05, 2008

'untitled currency' by tony oursler at art unlimited, art basel 2008

image © designboom



athens-based, bernier / eliades gallery presented video artist tony oursler’s room-size installation ‘untitled currency’, at ‘art unlimited’ part of art basel 2008. the piece is a very large projection that is essentially a talking one hundred dollar bill. typical of oursler’s approach, benjamin franklin’s mouth is animated, and he also sticks out his tongue.

image © designboom



the other elements of the art piece suggest alternative uses for cash: there’s a video of a hand making origami from a one-dollar bill. a good deal more humorous was a two-part sculpture of a rolled up washington and a mound of cocaine, accompanied by an audio of someone sniffing.

image © designboom



‘dollar bills were pasted willy-nilly to the walls…’ the art basel newspaper reported that german customs officers at the border to switzerland discovered more than 1,000 dollar bills stuffed in oursler’s bag. the event’s daily said the officers counted every note to make sure it did not exceed germany’s legal export limit of 10,000 USD.


it was impossible not to notice that a handful of works in art basel handled currency — and oursler’s ‘untitled currency’, which was created for the occasion, has put it on reserve from the bernier / eliades gallery in athens, greece  by a collector for 400,000 USD.

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom



art unlimited‘ is a parallel exhibition at art basel and features unconventional works by 70 artists. art basel is the world’s largest international contemporary art fair. in the four-day show, 300 of the world’s leading galleries are presenting the work of around international 2,000 artists.

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