Søren Thilo Funder: The Vanishing Table
17 Feb – 2 Apr 2017
Darkroom gallery begins 2017 with The Vanishing Table (2014), a video work by Danish artist Søren Thilo Funder. Through two interlinked stories, the video investigates the essence of money, the formation of its value and its contractual, even imaginary nature. The first story lets us in on a mystical meeting in which a group of numismatics are examining extremely rare historical coins that are invisible to the viewer. Examined gently and with care, the valuable collectibles create a collective fantasy for the people around the table. The scene is not unlike a spiritual séance in which communication between two different worlds is channelled via a table and the hands laid upon it. Finally, when even the table has disappeared, the collectors are left alone, maintaining an illusion.

Meanwhile, a suave animated monkey depicted in the wings of a stock exchange recites derivations of lines from a poem by Lewis Carroll. In the tragicomic poem about a debtor and a creditor, the debtor is never actually given the sum of his loan before the creditor shows up to collect his dues. The monkey’s extraordinary tale is interrupted by a phone call that reverts its otherwise restrained demeanour back to the bestial level.

The Vanishing Table demonstrates our dual relationship with money as an object of both physical appreciation and desire and as a collective experiential manifestation of our abstract debt-economy that is dissociated from all things concrete. For some, the world of money appears forever as an esoteric science, while for others it is a playing field. Both views remind us of the fundamental absurdity and capriciousness of a lifestyle based on global finance.

Søren Thilo Funder (b. 1979) works primarily with video and film. His main interests are social history and diverse cultural fields, in which he explores the power relations of contemporary society. His meticulously produced works make full use of cinematic narrativity and mise-en-scène, employing fiction to generate new potential spaces for political contemplation and counter-memory.

Artist talk on Wednesday, 15 February at 3 pm at Kuvateatteri, Turku Arts Academy (Linnankatu 54). Søren Thilo Funder talks about his work and artistic practice in English. Free admission.

Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2019