FACE VALUE THE UKRAINIAN STOCK EXCHANGE
Curators: Liudmila Motsiuk, Nadya Prigodich

THE PUBLIC ART RESEARCH PROJECT A SET OF SITE SPECIFIC VISUAL PROJECTS OF UKRAINIAN ARTISTS AT THE URBAN SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT OF KYIV November 23 - November 30, 1999 Artists- participants : Anastasya Budnikova, Stanislava Beretova, Olga Soloviova, Sergey Kochetov, Dmytro Hapchinsky, Dmytro Dulphan, Oleksander Hnilitsky, Hlib Katchuk, Illya Chichkan, Myroslav Kulchytsky, Vadim Chekorsky, Nalia Pasichnick, Kirill Prothenko, Oleksandr Soloviov, Maragarita Zinets, Oleksader Vereschak, Sergiy Solonsky, Sergiy Bratkov, Vasyl Tsagolov.

PART I PROJECT: FACE VALUE THE UKRAINIAN STOCK EXCHANGE;
ADDRESS: KYIV, 10 MAKSIMA RYLSKOGO PROVULOK
DATE: NOVEMBER 23 - NOVEMBER 30, 1999
OPENING: NOVEMBER 23, 4: 00 P.M

A Stock Exchange being a market structure to provide circulation of securities, debenture bonds, stocks, etc., is the symbol of prosperity and property guaranties. The super-abstract matter of these values does not surprise. This is a well-established institution for non-object trade, as well as many other global markets, and contemporary art market in particular, where significance and value of an art work is determined just through its ability to be contextual. An artist as a subject of enterprise is in more favorable position because it is he who produces the surplus value and is an ideal figure of the super-capitalism. This cautious adjustment of their personal strategy gives artists a chance to keep cynical distance between life and art, to be sincere and circumspect, crazy and pragmatic. The value of an artwork, its price stands for the equivalent of this calculated ironic distance. The value is determined by the measure of cynicism and ability to evaluate the context sensibly, to take into account the rules of the. game in effort to create an external instrumental discourse - "to constitute the social reality as a shelter from some traumatic real being. " (Slavoj Zizek)

The project "Face Value" may be excessively social but not didactic. The estrangement of the art practice both from reality and artist is an obvious factor of the local art context, and perhaps not only the local one. Reduced version of radical social determination of contemporary Ukrainian society is expressed in the definition "poverty - wealth". This simple contra-position is of no interest as a fact of economic development but it is representative as a mechanism of both suppression and mobilization of phantasmagoric imagination. Aspiration for possession of a value is an incurable symptom, unlimited and omnipotent. Its frustration causes complicated combinations of displacement - replacement. Evidently, any value is not unnatural, it is rather the result of a certain convention, but in spite of this the value possesses imperative features - at some moment it might be retroactively stated that something has a value or, more precisely, something has a price. On the one hand, the mechanism of price formation has been logically and successively explained in the categories of productive relations, surplus value, etc., on the other hand, the faultless functioning of this mechanism has almost mystic nature. One more mystic aspect of the value convention is that a subject almost never takes part in it and his everyday reference points have been strictly determined by old and newly invented "mega-narratives". Social and cultural space of modern Ukraine places at an artist's disposal a vast spectrum of value pathologies, which are worthy of attentive investigation and ironic or cynic introspection.