Marx® PSJM presents the book "La isla de Hidrógeno"
05
May
2011
The presentation will be held in the chill-out lounge at LABoral Centro de Arte and will be lead by the authors Cynthia Viera and Pablo San José.
Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx® Opening
Photo: Enrique Cárdenas

Marx®
27
Mar
2008
08
Jun
2008
Artists PSJM present a critique of the capitalist system through the transformation of an exhibition space into a boutique

Marx®

Artists PSJM present a critique of the capitalist system through the transformation of an exhibition space into a boutique

28
Mar
2008
9
Jun
2008

Venue: Rooms Plataforma 1 at LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial

A keen observer of new social behaviours, Vicente Verdú describes the current fictional capitalism as the final stage before the system abandons material possessions in order to concentrate on psychic well-being. A system striving to build reality, an improved reality, freed from any unassimilatable anti-power where "capitalism itself disappears as a particular social and economic organization to become a civilization" and where "anything improvable is included in its absorbing, globalized potentialities, because even extreme adventure, the face of Revolution or terrorism are accepted as stimuli for its spectacle" . 
The system’s capacity to grow even stronger and neutralize critique by commercializing it is highlighted by Heath & Potter in The Rebel Sell: Why the Culture Can't Be Jammed in which they claim, in opposition to the view of consumption as alienation championed by Baudrillard , that "it is rebelliousness, and not conformism, that has controlled the way the market functions for decades” and they underscored the irony that "countercultural rebelliousness, instead of a consequence, was in fact one of the causes of the rise of consumerism" . This theory ties in with Bourdieu’s ideas about "distinction" as class exclusion. Another French sociologist, Gilles Lipovetsky, strays from this logic of distinction when he responded that "nowadays, luxury is more geared toward promoting a personal image than an image of class" . Both Lipovestky and Verdú lent emancipatory faculties to consumerism and perceived an age dominated by emotional individualism . From a different, yet equally incisive viewpoint in their analysis of contemporary society, Hardt and Negri agreed with this factory of emotions when speaking about affective work, claiming that "the entertainment industry is likewise focused on the creation and manipulation of affect […] Categories such as "in-person services" or services of proximity are often used to identify this kind of labor, but what is really essential to it are the creation and manipulation of affect". 

The MARX® project falls within this contemporary debate, reflecting by means of simulacrum the paradoxes inherent in the critique to the system in current capitalism and engaging with the identity concerns of individuals. The brand slogan "Be Like Us, Be Different" reproduces the paradoxical message readily discernible in the mass media. Demand your individuality and be yourself by consuming, like it or not, serial mass-produced goods. This tension between the individual and serial production, between the exclusive and the industrial mass-produced good, between the industries of subjectivity and the technological objective, is materialized in MARX® products, made unique by their visible and differentiating serial number. 

What defines the line of work of our team and differentiates us, to some extent, from other artists of our generation is not so much the focus on the socio-economic-political events of our surrounding environment and representing them, but the use of mechanisms proper to the cultural industry, especially their facet of commercial seduction, with the purpose of creating a series of simulacra within the contemporary art context, that can easily step over the borderline between fiction and reality. In other words, while many artists today focussing on mass culture and their creative industries are striving to produce parodies, at PSJM we seek to generate simulacra, not parodies. Many of our pieces could pass unnoticed as part of our reality, a reality which, as we are already aware, is hard to separate from the fiction created by the media. 

The project we are presenting at Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial is, all in all, both art and industrial creation. An ambitious proposal underpinned by many of the concerns expressed in previous PSJM projects while contributing other new concerns to our discourse. 

The work is grounded in a simple concept which is unfolded in various media and disciplines. Firstly, this concept comprises the creation and registration of the MARX® brand appearing in all of the objects created to present the brand, such as products (jeans, shirts, dresses, shoes), advertising campaigns (commercials, billboards, press, catalogue, music) and the MARX® boutique. Our proposal consists of a work exhibited as an installation in one of the gallery’s at the art centre, yet spilling over from the exhibition space, previously co-opting the public space via outdoor advertising and then later through the circulation of products outside the institution.

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