Medium: Neon, transformer
Size: 3" x 23" x 2"
The textbased work SECURITIES, 2021 derives from Senstad's ongoing critical research project Capitalism in the Public Realm that she began in 2014, on ethics, social political and philosophical inquiries, justice, greed and investigation of value systems - with the monumental text work Gold Guides Me.
The text statement light-sculpture SECURITIES plays with finance lingo and the advertising of commerce. Senstad additionally introduces color to her normally white neon texts, and the suggested implications of red. Red being a color of power and state, is also a color of capitalist critique and its denouncement. The ironic usage of red with its serious undertones, reflects Senstad's ongoing examinations on ethics, societal sustainability and humanism, capitalism and greed, patriarchy and imperialism. The provocativity in the sensorially stimulating and seductive ruby Red neon merged with corporate aesthetics, provides a vehicle for reflection through the aesthetics of light, noble gas and color.
SECURITIES questions the health and future of contemporary social politcal structures and ownership, money and power, investment and finance systems, the erosion of global sustainability, hyper-capitalism and it's methods of corporatization of political ideologies, land, deregulation and the populus of sovereign nations. In utilizing materials such as neon that represents commerce, consumerism, commodification, seduction, culture economy and capitalization 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 with 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, public and private ownership of data, autonomy, balance and health, seeking to activate processes of critical thought and response within the individual citizen. Everything is for sale.
- The Spectacle is the stage at which the commodity has succeded in totally colonizing social life. Commodification is not only visible, we no longer see anything else; the world we see is the world of commodity.
Guy Debord: The Society of Spectacle, 1967
- Money is that materially existing concept, the unitary form or the possibility of all objects of need. By elevating need and work to this level of generality, a vast system of common interest and mutual dependence is formed among great people, a self-propelling life of the dead, which moves hither and thither, blind and elemental, and, like a wild animal, it stands in constant need of being tamed and kept under control.
Hegel, The Jena lectures 1802-03
- Capitalism is a purely cultic religion, perhaps the most extreme that ever extisted.