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Schroder’s Allegorical Installation

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Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Samk Hartnett Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Mark Schroder, 'Goldkorp' as installed at RM. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett

On the right, the path leads through shelved and restashed RM artist files to a ‘lab’ hidden out the back where plaster apples appear to be in the process of being gold-coated (clearly a reference to Billy Apple’s interaction with Ray Smith of Goldcorp). On the left it goes through a party room (with the remains of decaying food and now flat champagne) used to promote investment sign-ups.

RM

Auckland

 

Mark Schroder
Goldkorp

 

22 May - 7 June 2019

With his radical mazelike reconfiguration of the RM space, a shifting of RM’s archives and redesign to stage a Goldkorp office, Mark Schroder sardonically attempts to educate his art audience with the fiscal advantages of buying up gold AlKaCoins or SEEDTokens (a portion of the profit) in bulk, or else non-physical ‘certificate bullion’. The material components of these schemes to ‘grow wealth’ with blockchain technology are ‘stored and insured-free of charge.’

Once you have clearly passed his initial presentation of brochures and posters promoting the advantages of these crypto assets—and umpteen bravado captions like ‘the only difference between men and boys is the cost of their toys’ or ‘if you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much room’—his meandering claustrophobic labyrinth then forks into two paths.

On the right, the path leads through shelved and restashed RM artist files to a ‘lab’ hidden out the back where plaster apples appear to be in the process of being gold-coated (clearly a reference to Billy Apple‘s interaction with Ray Smith of Goldcorp). On the left it goes through a party room (with the remains of decaying food and now flat champagne) used to promote investment sign-ups, accompanied by a gold-tessellated helmet and motor-racing videos that celebrate the reaping of big fiscal rewards for ‘winners.’ 

Moving along the corridor you soon become aware that things have gone awry. We see a Perspex money-box with a yellow ‘staircase’ arrow diagonally going down instead of up. There is a lemon postioned above it. Then—on the wall—a picture of a car hurtling through the air, spinning out of control.

In the last space at the very end, we see scattered globs of mud stuck to the walls, floor and ceiling of an empty room, and a couple of abandoned (worthless) hollow gold-plated bars, symbolically attached to plant roots (greed?). The lumps of mud look like the results of a flurry of desperate digging, a frenetic ‘explosion’ of deluded searching.

Schroder’s transformation of the RM space into a winding, claustrophobic, corporate office (and blunt parallel fable) is impressive. It has taken a lot of work to put the fake walls and props in place. Muted and sombre in its brown, green and yellow colouration, this complex satirical installation—lampooning the mechanics of using greed as bait—lingers in the memory.

John Hurrell

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