Money Sculptures
1996


The value of money is based on rules that are accepted everywhere in the world. You can rely on these rules without reservation, because mankind relies on them. And you even have to, if you want to use money. You have to trust that money makes available any service or product that is offered for sale. Although people fixed on money are seen as being materialistic, the nature of money is very immaterial. Money is nothing more than an empty space for a wish you want to fulfil in the future. Maybe therefore peoples’ relation towards money is emotional. There is far less agreement on the rules of art.

Art is more solid than money. Art is much more connected to materiality. Each work of art is bound by its very specific appearance, and to the confidence it inspires in the persona of the artist. That means that art is much more connected to the person and the material than money ever could be. Stephan Kurr’s Money Sculptures fix money to a concrete body.

Stephan Kurr piles up the coins he has in his purse and sells them as a sculpture. The selling price of the sculpture is at least the nominal value of the piled up coins.
For example, piled up coins that add up to $ 5,67, cost at least $ 5,67. The artistic intervention is then for free. The intervention, the transformation of money into art is something you can experience. You could call it a transubstantiation, an incarnation of the spirit. The form, the metal of the coins stays the same, but one’s imagination about the value the coins incorporate changes.

People who take part in this artistic intervention are very often willing to spend far more money on a Money Sculpture than its nominal value. If for example a Money Sculpture with a nominal value of $5,67 is sold for $50 you could call the difference between nominal value and selling-price its notional value. In the example above, the notional value would be ($50-$5,67= $44,33). A Money Sculpture is not a unique example (original); on the contrary, the value rises with the growth of existing Money Sculptures.

The more money you withdraw from circulation and isolate by producing and selling Money Sculptures, the higher the rate of the money left in orbit, which in turn affects the money that is isolated in the form of Money Sculptures, and accordingly, the value of the Money Sculpture itself. And finally a Money Sculpture is not safe from forgery. Anybody is able to produce them and to sell them expensively.

Buyers up till now:
Alfred Hirster, artist, Fürth, Germany (20.1.1996; 4,76 DM)
Udo Mauerwerk, banker, Rückersdorf, Germany (24.2.1996; 20,14 DM)
Franziska Kohlmayer-Lemke, Montessori-teacher, Berlin (9.11.1996; 3,64 DM)
Ben Vautier, artist, Nice, France (22.4.1997; 46,95 FF)
Joseph Schwaiger, artist, Salzburg, Austria (15.9.1997; 17,80 FF)
Claudia Bormann, journalist, Berlin (23.11.1999; 3,17 DM)
Evelina Cajacob, artist and Ralph Feiner, photographer, Malans,
Switzerland (10.1.2000; 16,35 ChF und 6,96 DM)
Architecture office Stindt, Rhiner, Cuendet, Elgg, Switzerland
(15.1.2000; 10,50 DM und 1,75 ChF)
Christian Hasucha, artist, Berlin (23.2.2000; 9,81 DM)
Petra Korte, university lecturer, Dülmen, Germany (10.3.2000; 13,50 DM)
Claudia Damm, artist / gallerist, Berlin (8.4.2000; 0,05 DM)
Christel Klein, teacher, Paderborn, Germany (3.6.2000; 15,88 DM)
Hein Spellmann, artist, Berlin (3.6.2000; 16,57 DM)
Regina Pemsel, artist, Nuremberg, Germany (12.6.2000; 7,99 DM)
Katrin Jaquet, artist, Berlin (17.8.2000; 12,- DM)
Inge Klocker, architect, Nuremberg, Germany (6.10.2000; 7,75 DM)
Birgit Effinger, art historian, Berlin (30.10.2000; 6,34 DM)
Tulle Ruth, artist, Oslo, Norway (10.10.2001; $4.40 CAD)
Kristine Friedman, artist / archivist, Montréal (28.10.2001; $4.03 CAD)
Mary Sui Yee Wong, artist, Montréal (7.11.2001; $4.40 CAD)
Heeseung Ko, artist, Jeonju, South-Korea (28.11.2001; $6.87 CAD)
Ana Rewakowicz, artist, Montréal (14.12.2001; $11.88 CAD)
Maria Linares, artist, Berlin/Bogotá (14.5.2002; € 4,82)
Alex Bräuchler, artist, Weimar, Germany (11.12.2002; € 5,51)
Christine Kirouac, artist, Montréal (16.1.2003; $4,77 CAD)
Stefan St-Laurent, curator, Ottawa, Canada (1.3.2003; $ 0,51 CAD)
Sibylle Hofter, artist, Berlin (15.5.2003 € 5,36)
Rüdiger Stern, designer, Berlin (6.11.2003; 8,30 € und 500 It.£)
Sureyyya Evren, writer, Istanbul (4.1.2004; 700.000,- T£)
Yahya Madra, economist, Boston, USA (9.1.2004; 350.000,- T£)
Markus Renvall, artist, Helsinki, Finland (1.10.2004; 0,92 €)
Sakari Viika, photographer, Helsinki, Finland (2.11.2004; 4,65 €)
Matthias Schwab, psychologist, Ahlbeck, Germany (19.3.2005; 6,84 €)
Katharina Garrelt, art historian, New York City (5.7.2005; 1,33 €)
Nathan Sutton, art history student, Buffalo, NY, USA (3.8.2006; 4,13 €)
Wilson Diaz, artist, Cali, Colombia (20.1.2007; 2,58 €)
Juan Linares, artist, Berlin (20.1.2007; 2,58 €)
Oscar Muñoz, artist, Cali, Colombia (28.2.2007; 1020 Pesos Colombianos)
Juliane Heise, artist, Berlin (8.3.2008; 2,60 €)
Stephan Hänsch, student, Dresden, Germany (22.7.2008; 5,33 €)
Barbara Damm, production manager, Dresden, Germany (22.7.2008; 4,54 €)
Karl-Heinz Jeron, artist, Berlin (22.7.2008; 4,55 €)
anonymous (22.7.2008; 4,70 €)
Tom Assmann, student, Dresden, Germany (22.7.2008; 5,28 €)
Michaela Nasoetion, artist, Berlin (21.1.2012; 2,04 €)
Christiane Lehmann, artist, Wilhelmsdorf, Germany (21.1.2012; 2,04 €)
Christiane ten Hoevel, artist, Berlin (21.1.2012; 2,65 €)
Reinhard Bruck, teacher, Bonn, Germany (21.1.2012; 2,65 €)
Johanna Bartl, artist, Dessau, Germany (18.8.2012; 1,38 €)
Charles Moser, artist, Menziken, Switzerland (29.5.2013, 6,53 €)
Christian Hasucha, artist, Berlin (28.3.2015, 7,83 €)
Juliane Leitzsch, artist, Carlow, Germany (3.3.2016; 7,42 €)
Ingrid Bachmann, artist, Montréal (25.10.2016; $4,25 CAD)

Money Sculptures were exhibited at the Städel Museum of Art, Frankfurt / Main, Germany, in November ‘97, at the Kunsthaus Nuremberg, Germany in December ‘98 and as a contribution of the show "Sozialmaschine Geld", at the O.K Center for Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria, from December ‘99 to March 2000, at the Vitrina of lugar a dudas, Cali, Colombia in April 2007 and from January to March 2012 Óscar Muñoz showed his Money Sculpture in the show „Lugar a Dudas - espacio en residencia“ at the Museo de Arte del Banco de la República, El Parqueadero, Bogotá, Colombia.

Money Sculptures were presented by the Shedhalle, Zurich, Switzerland, on the Internet as part of the exhibition "300 Mäuse" in 2002.

Public auctions of Money Sculptures were made at the Germanic National Museum, Nuremberg, Germany, as a benefit performance for the Rotary Club for suffering children in Bosnia - the town hall of Forchheim, Germany, as a benefit performance to support the local Montessori School - at Gallery Gruppe Grün, Bremen, Germany - as a performative contribution of the show "Z 2000" at Walden Kunstaustellungen, Berlin, Germany - in the Library of the City of Nuremberg, Germany - as part of an artist talk at Concordia University, Montréal, Canada and in honour of HIAP’s 5th anniversary at Taidehalli (municipal gallery for contemporary art), Helsinki, Finland, at the Gallery 35, Berlin during the 5th session of the Art and Economy Group and at the performance festival „Was ist das WERT“ at the European centre of the arts, Hellerau, Dresden.