Come see money as a thing itself, not just a means of acquiring other things or expressing their value. Throughout November, Team Love RavenHouse in New Paltz presents “Currency: An Exchange,” an art exhibition featuring four artists: Curtis Readel, Todd Martin, Molly Rausch and the exhibition’s curator, Dylan McManus. In this thematically focused show, all four artists work in some way with the substance of actual currency: manipulating it, recontextualizing it, defacing it and playing out its cacophonous symbolic resonances at the same time as they deal with the problems and possibilities of its materiality.
Whether by gold standard or fiat, currency itself, of course, is already symbolic and representational by definition, and its stability as a symbolic value is one of the foundations of a functioning society. The artists in this show situate their work in the context of global economic corruption, volatility and insecurity. Writes the curator: “Each artist brings a unique approach to the physical manipulation of currency in his or her work, creating pieces that explore the damaged trust that occurs when millions are lost and generated in a transatlantic millisecond while families sleep, waking to discover the value of their household currency has decreased or vanished altogether.”
The title “Currency: An Exchange” speaks specifically to the contribution of participating artist Todd Martin, a New Paltz resident who, in addition to his displayed works, will be conducting a weekly performance piece in which audience members are encouraged to bring legal tender to be modified and repurposed by the artist with messages and themes of localism. The hacked currency is then reintroduced to the community as objects of art and tokens of community consciousness. Martin is an artist and educator who received his MFA in Printmaking from SUNY-New Paltz. Learn more about his work at www.toddlmartin.com.
Curtis Readel studied at University of Iowa and at Northern Illinois University. Using current and traditional techniques of printmaking, drawing and collage, Readel addresses sociopolitical issues with a polemical bent. He shows in the US and internationally, and is represented by Packer Schopf Galley in Chicago and the Jonas Gallery of Brussels. For more, visit www.curtiswilliamreadel.com.
New Paltz-based painter, conceptual artist and children’s book author Molly Rausch holds an MFA in painting from SUNY-New Paltz. Her contribution to “Currency: An Exchange” extends a thematic exploration that she began with a book of postage stamp paintings. For more, visit www.mollyrausch.com.
Wyoming-born Dylan McManus holds degrees from Western Wyoming Community College, the University of Oregon and SUNY-New Paltz. In his work, he aims to ignite critical discussion and debate among what he describes as a “politically disinterested populace.” His printmaking explorations have been featured at group and solo shows, both nationally and internationally. For more, visit www.dylantmcmanus.com.
“Currency: An Exchange” opens at Team Love RavenHouse on Saturday, November 2 and runs until December 1. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, November 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. Team Love RavenHouse is located at 11 Church Street in New Paltz. For more information, visit www.tl-rh.com.