The political is personal. The economic crisis has made amateur economists of all of us, which gives new meaning to the term home economics.
Annetta Kapon's installation Bougada (laundry) consists of a number of rectangular linen panels (each approx. 30" X 15" inches or 84X38 cm) silk-screened (by hand) with images of 6 international currency: Dollars, Euros, Yens, Yuens, GB Pounds and Swiss Francs. The pieces are hung on laundry lines with wooden clothespins. Each currency is printed in an edition of 18.
In addition to the current economic crisis, the installation makes reference to money laundering, the usually invisible and unpaid labor of women, and the relativity of the value of money and labor across national borders. Specifically, the installation questions easy assumptions about the difference between artistic labor and house labor collapsing the two together, and, by implication, domesticates the museum by foregrounding the hanging laundry (which is normally hidden in the back balcony) in the front and center. In a further ironic twist, the work is hung OUTSIDE the museum, in an ambiguous relation to the rest of the exhibition. The “low,” the domestic, is presented “high,” above the entrance. Is it marginalized or privileged? Is it personal, or political?
Marx said that money is the ultimate fetish, having only exchange value and no use value. Kapon's currency however consists of expensive raw materials (linen fabric, paints, silkscreen technology and over 100 hours of labor). Thus it engages with the notions of money as representation, utility and symbol. The work can be used as tea towels (petsetakia), or framed under glass on the wall, or exhibited as laundry. It has cultural production value as well, and is offered for sale by the artist for 150 euros per piece, or 800 euros for a set of the 6 currencies.