Van Rudd CV (PDF)
30 March to 23 April 2011
Most that I know don’t have anything good to say about banks and financial institutions. Obtaining a credit card from a bank should carry a positive feeling, but nearly everyone knows it does not. The wars waged between banks over fees and interest rates as they reap billions in profits seems as if it's none of our business. That's unfortunately the way banks operate. But day-in, day-out, the majority of us (in rich countries like Australia) feel a tremendous weight upon our shoulders, a psychological entrapment. Unemployment, too few or too many working hours and job insecurity are conditions experienced by many amidst the strangling of debt administered by a bank. Credit and loans from banks allow us to purchase the commodities those financial institutions invest in and aggressively market.
This exhibition aims to confront what is an extremely powerful, integral and all-pervasive element of capitalism's decay - monopoly finance. The excess profits of the finance monopolies are clearly an indication of how much labour is squeezed out of many people across many countries. Part of this decay and concentration of money has revealed itself globally in the form of the economic crisis of 2008. It has revealed to many people across the globe the desperate and parasitic behaviour of monopoly finance and the winners and losers from the massive bailouts which took place in the USA and Europe. It has also revealed to many people how much support finance executives receive from the state despite massive public protest. Marx and then Lenin wrote about this 'decay' extensively over a century ago as they witnessed mergers, trusts and cartels develop between industry and banking magnates in order to continue the pursuit of profit and expand markets into virtually every territory known to humans, materially and spiritually.
But it is not all about continuous and inevitable decay. There is something positive that my artworks aim to point towards. This is based on the inherent contradiction posed when parasitic, financial oligarchies control so much wealth and labour. They do it from a distance. They are disconnected from the real workforce as this workforce is increasingly becoming socialised and concentrated and one day will turn to each other for a way out.