Objects of desire, 2010

A model of a glass building sits in a model of a hilly landscape onto
which is printed ¤100 and ¤500 bills. The model refers to an actual
corruption scandal in the northern Catalonian countryside involving
businessman Fèlix Millet i Tusell, who for more than thirty years was
the president of the Palau de la Música Catalana (Palace of Catalan
Music) and member of close to one hundred foundations. In 2009
he resigned after admitting his involvement in the “disappearance”
of several million euros of public money, the biggest ever corruption
scandal involving a cultural institution. The money was partly
used to build an opera-like environment in his private residence—
which the media called a “casa billet” (“bill house”). Tusell’s residence
is the symbolic reference for the model. The work thus addresses the
well-documented culture of corruption in Spanish politics, a culture
that undermines the democratic system and destabilizes the economy
to the detriment of every citizen. The new generation of culture-promoting
politicians have exchanged their political ideals and visions
for banal consumerist greed and pretention. They spend the stolen
money on luxury objects such as Louis Vuitton bags and Rolex watches
to flash their illegally acquired upper-class status. The model was
originally shown along with a series of lightboxes displaying advertisements
for some of these objects.


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