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EVA GRUBINGER
(Austria, 1970)


Hype!, 1996
game (box with cards and folder), 23 x 32 x 5 cm
Courtesy the artist and Künstlerhaus Stuttgart





This work is a game consisting of a set of rules, playing cards and dices. The artist has chosen the subtitle A lot of bluff, a lot of money and smart artists. Similar to the classic “Monopoly”, which is a playful introduction to the rules of capitalism, Hype simulates the mechanisms of the art world. In both games the winner is the one who generates the highest profit. But whereas Monopoly focuses on the accumulation of economic wealth by acquiring real estate properties, Hype centres on the positioning of artists in cultural institutions as a means of creating cultural capital which in turn generates monetary profit. The outcome of the game is not only influenced by the strategic skills of the players but also by the element of chance: a throw of a dice may create or destroy opportunities for further advancement. The introduction of the random principle reflects the influence of chance in the process of value creation within the art system. As academic research has shown, the career of an artist develops according to the so-called “path-dependent processes” where even small and accidental initial advantages may translate over time into an uncatchable lead.







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