With the art series TULIP MANIA artist Sven Sauer dares an experiment without knowing how it will turn out. A self-destruction mechanism is built into the artwork. With every resale of the paintings, they destroy themselves piece by piece. For this experiment, a shipping container location is transformed into a brightly lit greenhouse. The room-filling light and sound installation is based on the first documented speculative bubble of mankind: the tulip fever.
In the 17th century, the exotic plant gained high prestige. It became a rarity, not least because of its susceptibility to disease. This heated up the market even more. Within a very short time, a tulip bulb was worth more than a detached house in Amsterdam. This trade is possible even when the buyers have no money at all and are betting everything on resale. Even just the prospect of buying a new bulb was speculated on. The bubble burst and the recession began. The tulips disappeared completely from the picture. For decades, even images in family crests were considered ominous.
Speculative transactions also arrived in the art market. In the past, it would have been unthinkable to express a purely economic interest in art. But today the question is increasingly being asked, “What will this work be worth in two years?” The type of classic collector has been joined by the speculator.
Sven Sauer creates works that expose these speculators. The piece-by-piece destruction of the works is irreversible: the former state cannot be reset. With these works, the responsibility for a work of art is transferred to the collectors. The collector has to decide: Does the interest in quick money prevail or will the artwork be preserved for later generations?
11.11.22 OPENING (Invitation only)
19.11.22 THE CLASH – Are you an art lover or a speculator?
With friendly support from Hotel Berlin, Berlin