Support/Allowance includes a placard displaying text adapted from a 1989 article ‘Psychoanalysis and market ideologies’ by Barry Richards in which he writes about how market ideology is predicated on an idea of utilitarian individualism, an idea he problematises via a psychoanalytic approach.
The placard is combined with an audio piece of a voice intoning some of the descriptors, relating to physical abilities of moving around and manual dexterity, that are used to assess eligibility for the contemporary UK benefit Employment Support Allowance.
The installation was created for the exhibition ‘Next to nothing’ for which artists were asked to consider ideas of value. It refers to our present day situation – that in some respects can be traced back to Thatcherism – in which the metaphor of market value is imposed upon disparate aspects of human behaviour and abilities to the detriment of other non-monetary or non-utilitarian understandings of value.
MDF, enamel paint, audio, chairs, pound coin
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