Jenny Marketou

We Love Candy but Our Passion Is Collecting Art

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Medium/DimensionsDigital Video/DVD, 30 min 30 sec
CreditsCourtesy of the artist

The economic subject begins at home. And home breeds class consciousness. These truisms acquire greater depth in cases where home is revealed to be a place of overwhelming privilege bestowed at birth. Such revelations expose contemporary capitalism as something less than a meritocratic economy rewarding ‘hard work’. Jenny Marketou’s video is indeed not about work but about play – specifically, collecting art as a form of play available to rich kids.

We Love Candy but Our Passion Is Collecting Art addresses capitalism as a cradle of ideology rather than merely a system of organised production. The ideological context targeted by Marketou is one that generates monstrous exaggerations of the American Dream as well as of the dream of a ‘perfect childhood’ allegedly removed from the oppressive specificities of doing ‘business’. Marketou co-implicates and queries both these dreams which retain their purchase in western societies.

The video is stitched together from interviews of children between 9 and 16 years old born into the legendary wealth encountered in New York City. The artist has conducted these interviews herself, as if determined to drive home the unpleasant truth that, at the end of the day, her artistic subjectivity of social offering is premised on a disavowal: I know very well that art is hostage to market practices (and certainly collecting is one) but I nevertheless carry on as if this were not the case. By restricting art to its function as a rich kid’s toy, We Love Candy but Our Passion Is Collecting Art stages the artist’s confrontation with this ‘real’ condition of art, delivering a blow to the artistic ego and its aspiration of changing the world.