The Shopping Show


The Shopping Show
curated by Ben Russell
Wednesday the 24th of February, 7:00pm
Gallery 400
400 S Peoria, Chicago, IL

Shopaholics, rethink and rejoice!  Presented in the aisles of the FREE STORE, Gallery 400’s newest (non)commercial wing, here’s a film/video treatise on the joys and terrors of cash and commerce, in two parts.  Beginning in the mid-80s improvised music / language poetry / experimental dance scene (!) of the East Village and “featuring” John Zorn, Arto Lindsay, Abigail Child, Christian Marclay and over 2500 synch-sound cuts in fifteen minutes, Henry Hills’ Money is a montage-barrage time capsule view of $ociety’$ greate$t ill$.  With this new-found insight into the essence of bling, German media essayist Harun Farocki takes the lesson one step further by offering us a systematic look at the how-to’s of lightening up your wallet.  He’s talking shopping malls and shopping mall journals, consulting firms and purchase analysts, Las Vegas mall conventions and consumer-behavior laboratories; in The Creators of Shopping Worlds, Farocki lets the infrastructure speak for itself, a self-indictment of how spontaneity can be incitement.  Friendly Shoppers, You Must Act Now!  Don’t Wait Another Minute!  It’s THE SHOPPING SHOW, a one-time-only-everything-must-go-impulse-purchase-for-your-recession-bank-account-mind, a media deal that you simply can’t afford to miss…

Featuring: Money by Henry Hills (15:00, 16mm, 1985), The Creators of Shopping Worlds by Harun Farocki (72:00, video, 2001) TRT 87:00

* * *
Money by Henry Hills (15:00, 16mm, 1985)
Filmed primarily on the streets of Manhattan for the ambient sounds and movements and occasional pedestrian interaction to create a rich tapestry of swirling colors and juxtaposed architectural spaces in deep focus and present the intense urban over-flowing energy that is experience living here. MONEY is thematically centered around a discussion of economic problems facing avant-garde artists in the Reagan era. Discussion, however, is fragmented into words and phrases and reassembled into writing. Musical and movement phrases are woven through this conversation to create an almost operatic composition. Give me money! “If time is money, this 15-minute film is a bargain.” – J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

The Creators of Shopping Worlds by Harun Farocki (72:00, video, 2001)
Brave new shopping worlds are being created. What have mall owners, architects, surveillance technicians, and supermarket workers done to turn human subjects into pure streams of consumers, into the perfect inhabitants of shopping mall paradise?
“Going to the supermarket is an exercise in predestination: research has proven, as we learn in The Creators of Shopping Worlds, that, “Customers orient themselves horizontally . . . and vertically they look for a specific item.” The mall planners and bread-display architects seen at work in Harun Farocki’s doc take on the sinister air of a worldwide conspiracy.”
— Jessica Winter, Village Voice, October 31st 2001


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