Banknote Design, left side designed by Mustapha Akrim, right side designed by Ryts Monet, 2023.
Euro, Dirham, Manat, Schilling or Franc: not only are they means of payment, but with their images and symbols they also narrate stories about a state or a confederation of states, construct identities and point to political realities.
The exhibition “Markt-Marie” explores the design of banknotes and raises questions about representation, power relations and the interplay between politics and economics. In a participatory wall piece, Mustapha Akrim invites visitors to act like archaeologists by excavating facets of the contemporary history of money through the act of scraping – from the representation of the working class on the Moroccan dirham to the neo-colonial currency of the franc introduced in the Central African region.
In a multimedia installation, Ryts Monet examines the design of the Euro banknotes, placing the focus on the figure of Europa portrayed in the watermark and silver thread of all Euro paper money. The portrait on the Euros is freely taken from a vase of 360 B.C., found in Taranto, which illustrates Europa with the bull. According to Greek mythology the phoenician princess of Europa was taken from what is now Lebanon and part of Syria to Crete by Zeus in the guise of a bull. In his analysis he draws a connection of this scene to the stock exchange buildings around the world and opens up questions on the historical and symbolic meaning of represented classical figures and architecture on banknotes.
(*1981) lives and works between Rabat and Sale. He graduated from the Institut National des Beaux-Arts de Tétouan in 2008. The installations of Mustapha Akrim question the nature of work and the difference between construction and artistic creation in relation to the constant change of society. He belongs to an artist generation that develops a new language redefining the basis of expression in the visual arts in Morocco. Having a nuanced comprehension of history and the dynamic of power, this generation, that has broken up with the aesthetics developed in the post-colonial period, is seeking a new form of free expression.
RYTS MONET (AT/IT)
(*1982) lives and works in Vienna. Ryts Monet's work explores geopolitical and cultural frictions, clashes, ruins, monuments and symbols of power that have a precise relationship with the present and collective memory. Each of his projects aims to trigger
a dialogue or reflection between himself, the viewer and the world around us. His interest lies in contemporary and late 20th century history, particularly in themes that deal with the expansion and crisis of the historical ideologies.
(*1991) lives and works in Vienna. She is a cultural worker and curator interested in collaborative practices and cross-border exchange projects. In her curatorial work, she emphasises interdisciplinarity and accessibility. After studying cultural and social anthropology and applied cultural studies in Vienna and Lyon, she worked, among others, at the Austrian Cultural Forum in Cairo, at the Institut d'art contemporain in Villeurbanne/Lyon, at the Kunstverein das weisse haus in Vienna or at Kulte Gallery &Editions in Rabat. Since 2018 she has been part of the philomena+ curatorial team.