Adel Abdessemed

‘Ocean View’, 2005,
5 one-dollar bills, 15 plates of blue Styrofoam, Plexiglas
94 × 76 × 60 cm

A Plexiglas box is set on sheets of stiff blue Styrofoam, layered in strata. The box is horizontally split by a central divider on which are placed two little paper boats made of one-dollar bills. As a mocking metaphor for the circulation of capital, this work seems to evoke the theories of Adam Smith, who felt that the seafaring trade, with its many risks was a perfect embodiment of the capitalist spirit. And yet Ocean View shows a calm sea, serenely crossed by origami-style toy boats. This image of innocent, smooth sailing beneath the benevolent eye of the god of trade is a parody, an imagined projection.

Giovanni Careri