Economics the Blockbuster at The Whitworth

Economics the Blockbuster
The Whitworth
30th June 2023 – 22nd October 2023

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How can artists reimagine and disrupt conventional ideas of value, ownership, trade and economy?

How might artists inspire us to practice our economic life more equitably, radically and sustainably?

Economics the Blockbuster presents a selection of extraordinary art projects that operate as real-world economic systems. Together they propose new ways of ‘doing business’, driven by the needs and concerns of the communities in which they are created.

Economy includes many things, from the exchange of gifts to caring for others, building trust and sustaining the environment. It happens not only in factories, shops or offices but in parks, on the streets and in museums. Building on the Whitworth’s ongoing commitment to being a useful museum driven by a civic purpose, this project addresses economics as a social and financial set of relations that we all take part in.

From a community-led drinks company to an art collective reclaiming plantation land, the exhibition includes new artist commissions, merchandise with a purpose, business collaborations and a live programme.

Bringing together existing and new works, the exhibition draws on global strategies explored by artists and arts organisations including Association de Arte Útil, Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC) and Renzo Martens, Company Drinks, Goldin+Senneby, Kathrin Böhm and Kuba Szreder (Centre for Plausible Economies), lumbung Kios, Owen Griffiths and Alessandra Saviotti, Rosalie Schweiker, The Alternative School of Economics and Tŷ Pawb.

Responding directly to the failures and limits of current systems, Economics the Blockbuster creates ideas for other ways of being.

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