Nella Aarne
The Gift, If There Is Any
Annette Krauss, Travis Meinolf, Savage, Standart Thinking, HE Wiseman
Art Licks Weekend 2015, London UK

The Gift, If There Is Any was a participatory programme that took place at Columbia Road Flower Market and Kappacasein Dairy in London as part of Art Licks Weekend 2015.

The project considered the possibility of the pure gift freed from obligations to reciprocity and asked how such a gift could be brought into being. The programme articulated the potential of the gift to critically address the increasing exploitation of the other, which has been presented as a necessity for stability during the ongoing economic crisis. The gift took various forms in the hands of the artists — ranging from theft reversal and loving consideration of the other to sharing of resources and donated labour — seeking to provoke discussion on care and generosity towards others amidst global austerity measures and expanding debt.

The programme included a letter writing station with an archival display of personal letters that once accompanied gifts, collective weaving of anti-capitalist cloth from donated materials, distribution of a miniature publication distributed by means of reverse pick-pocketing and gifts that their recipients might rather be without. The programme culminated in a dinner event that explored a holistic and generous approach to education and learning.

The Gift, If There Is Any was curated by Nella Aarne and produced in collaboration with VERBureau.

Photograph: Rachael Smith