SUPERFLEX, One Day Sculpture
TODAY WE DON"T USE THE WORD DOLLARS
Commissioned by Artspace for ONE DAY SCULPTURE
ANZ Bank, 312 Karangahape Road, Newton, Auckland
SUPERFLEX, TODAY WE DON'T USE THE WORD DOLLARS, ANZ Newton Branch Manager, Lisa Burns, 2009.
SUPERFLEX's artwork for One Day Sculpture involves the employees of Auckland's Karangahape Road branch of the ANZ bank. For a single day, Wednesday 27 May 2009, 09.00 - 16.30 all employees of the bank cannot say or use the word 'DOLLARS.' The staff must use other words of their own choice to explain themselves to customers and co-workers. If they break this pact they must pay a fine of $1 into a staff social fund.
SUPERFLEX (Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, Jakob Fenger and Rasmus Nielsen) investigate processes by which power dynamics become evident. Their projects do not simply set out to problematize these spheres of interest, but to work with real economic, cultural and political relations and create concrete effects. Through projects engaging with alternative models for the creation, dissemination and maintenance of social and economic organisation - such as Copyshop, Guarana Power, Rebranding Denmark and Free Beer - SUPERFLEX have become involved in several legal disputes, as well as suffering prohibition orders and police raids, relating to their artistic use of commercial signs and symbols. However, finding that the restrictions placed on their work
sometimes led to unexpectedly interesting results, SUPERFLEX began to explore the productive potential of prohibition and conceived a series of projects structured to impose regulations on others.
Superflex's One Day Sculpture project was conceived for Auckland at the invitation of Brian Butler, former Director of Artspace and produced by Artspace. The artists opted to work with the ANZ bank, asking the bank manager to enter into a legally binding agreement with the group that would affect all its activities. The contract stipulated that the staff at the ANZ bank have to abstain from using the word 'dollars' in all its oral and written communication, externally as well as internally, during banking hours. The agreement concerns customer service, as well as telephone calls and email communication. The contract was signed by the Bank Manager, Lisa Burns, and by SUPERFLEX. The signed contract will be printed and framed and displayed in the staff room during the day.
TODAY WE DON’T USE DOLLARS is part of ONE DAY SCULPTURE, a nationwide series of 21 temporary public artworks by national and international artists — each of which will occur during a discrete 24-hour period over the course of one year. One Day Sculpture is a Massey University College of Creative Arts, School of Fine Arts, Litmus Research Initiative.