Matthew Lacker on Gabriel Kendra’s $33,224,369.98

Join us TONIGHT for a new hour of TALKS featuring two lecturers presenting on their work in The Meekling ReviewC. Relkbi (aka Rebecca Nakaba) will be presenting on her B-Movie research and Matthew Lacker will be speaking on Gabriel Kendra’s Ten-Second Sculptures. Lacker’s analysis of Kendra’s $33,224,369.98 (below) also appears in The Meekling Review.


 
 
$33,224,369.98 is an instillation by artist Gabriel Kendra consisting of a medium-sized slab of 24-karat gold (donation courtesy J.P. Morgan) situated in an abandoned plot of land in Richmond, Virginia, where the artist currently resides. This action speaks plainly of society’s dichotomous relationship with the economy and the environment, as well as illustrating Homo sapiens’ unchanging relationship with the landscape over the history of recorded space-time.
 
The object proclaims the dominance of American capitalism despite growing ecological anxieties—its existence a reference to the entire history of human achievement, which has allowed for the accumulation of and forging of precious metals into art objects. The placement of the golden slab into a less-valuable landscape is a reference to the 21st-century technological achievements eclipsing the venerability of works of God—specifically the hundreds of years of natural endurance which have crafted the landscape.
 
By investigating the subjective measures of utility and worth, this Ten-Second Sculpture seems to concisely and authoritatively bring to a close the age-old question of what is greater: man’s lust for capital or for the sublime.
 
The golden slab was valued at approximately $33 million at the time of the project’s execution.
 
 
Matthew Lacker is passionate about non-glossy finishes.
 
Gabriel Kendra is from Richmond, Virginia, and a graduate of VCUArts, currently living in Chicago and occasionally making zines.
 

Find more of Kendra’s Ten-Second Sculptures & Lacker’s analysis in The Meekling Review:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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