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MARX-IST, 2021

Medium: Neon, transformer, plexiglas

Size: 18" x 21" x 2"

The textbased work MARX_IST, 2021 derives from Senstad's ongoing critical research project Capitalism in the Public Realm that began in 2014, on societal and philosophical ethics, justice and value systems with the monumental text work Gold Guides Me. The text statement light-sculpture MARX-IST plays with notions of equality and provocativity on several levels. Established within the ideological, economic and social-political consept of Marxism, to be defined as a "marxist" implies the phenomena of class struggle, re-distribution of wealth, global equality, societal transformation, and living according to sets of specific social-political consepts considered to be provocative by a culturally gentrified and consumerist based society. Further, through the art work, the term Marxist has been transformed into a commodification of itself and pop art signage iconography, inverting it's political-economic founded dynamics, as well as pointing to the consumerist iconification of historic revolutionaries popularized in culture in the 1960's.

In the wider economically viewed consept, the slogan questions the health of the contemporary global existential crisis and the erosion of sustainability with systems based purely on hyper-capitalism under a method of corporatization of political ideologies and the populus of soveregin nations.

Continuing Senstad's word-play statements, by deviding the word into a structural rhythm, IST implies the german verb " to be", which is Marx's natural language of economics. The present time IST, or I Am, implies something or someone that exists, suggesting a that there is always a class struggle between the oppressed and the "land owners", or "the ruling class", taking place in present time at any given time, at anyplace.

In utilizing materials representing commerce, consumerism, culture economy and capital of the public realm, the art work references Walter Benjamin's ideas on Fordism i.e mass production, standardized generic production and evolution of mass consumerism established in the 20th century industrialized world. Senstad ephasizes here the paradox of polarized systems and the place of the individual citizen within the struggle between economies and technologies, and public and private ownership of data, autonomy, balance and health, seeking to activate processes of critical thought and response within the individual perciever.


- The Spectacle becomes the medium for which fetishism becomes the model of our social life, It is the omnipresent affirmation of the choices that have already been made in the sphere of production and in the consumption implied by that production.

Guy Debord: The Society of Spectacle, 1967


- Under Capitalism, labor does not create only goods, it also produces itself and the worker as commodity.

Karl Marx


- Capital is money, capital is commodities - by virtue of it being value, it has acquired the occult ability to add value to itself. It brings forth lvijng offspring, or, at least, lays golden eggs.

Karl Marx


- Capitalism is a purely cultic reglion, perhaps the most extreme that ever extisted.

Walter Benjamin


- Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: Freedom for the slave owners.

Vladimir Lenin


- We the People

Preamble, United States Constitution, 1787