1 EUR Museum Shop

Year: 2007
Type: installation
Material: drawings, improvised table, various dimensions

1 EUR Museum Shop

The project was made for the exhibition Every man is a curator / Jeder Mensch ist ein Kurator in the Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana. The concept of the exhibition is to make an open call to everybody. The aim of the exhibition is to open a debate on the role of the contemporary art museum and contemporary art itself in the Slovene public space.

My contribution to the debate is an improvised museum shop. It is limited to a size of a table. Different art works are being sold for 1 EUR each. The art works are hand drawings on paper dealing with the situation of the contemporary visual artist in Slovenia in a humorous and critical way. His/her social status, the influence of the Internet, funding, producing and exhibiting issues, creativity, the search for new ideas …

The project has several layers. It deals with the lack of the art market in Slovenia on the one hand and the growing interest in the marketing of art (a lot of Slovene galleries are presenting themselves in the European art fairs lately) on the other hand. Museum shops usually make a large part of the profit and are some times the only reason for a visit. The fact is that the Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana, which also functions as a museum of contemporary art, doesn’t have a museum shop.

Another layer of the project is the symbolic price of 1 EUR. It is a parody on a popular marketing strategy with unbelievable low prices for a vast majority of costumers. The feeling of getting a good bargain is the force that drives us to purchase low-cost products. Even if somewhere deep inside we know that it is impossible to actually produce a product for such a low price.

There isn’t any shop assistant present at the desk. The costumer faces a temptation to take a product (art work) without paying. The sign: “The shop is under video surveillance. Shoplifting will be punished.” plays with the customer’s consciousness. Despite the fact that there is obviously no surveillance present, a certain element of self-control in every ‘decent’ citizen is present. Our urban reality today is made of constant multi-level surveillance and it influences both our behavior and our creativity.

The box to collect money from purchases looks like the one for voluntarily donations. A habit known from the time of socialism has somehow survived. At the same time it is becoming more popular again. The request for donation (usually via PayPal) is quite common in the blogger community. A donation is a support of non-profit enthusiastic work of bloggers who have spent hours of their free time to create new content and offer it to us for free. We could say the same for the work of contemporary visual artists (at least in Slovenia). Why not support them as well?

Slovensko | English

Vesna Bukovec deluje na področju sodobne vizualne umetnosti.

Je članica umetniške skupine KOLEKTIVA.