Alfredo Jaar, The Marx Lounge, (2010)
“…Each one of these works contain a model of thinking about this world, each of these works explains the world, even suggest ways of making it a better world and I am amazed at the gap that exists between what is contained here and the real world. I’ve always asked myself why is this gap? Is it because there is an intellectual distance between us and them or is it because the status quo wants to keep this distance alive? I think it might be a little of both. When I created this work I created it specifically for Liverpool and it was in response to the financial crisis that was effecting the entire world, specifically England. They started making all these cuts into the funding for education and so suddenly British kids who wanted to go to university, before it was free, they were asked to pay 9,600 pounds which is almost 20,000 dollars and that is a life changing situation. In Liverpool when I was doing my research for my show I discovered a group of students and professors who were trying to create a new institution called The Free Liverpool University in response to the financial cuts in education. So I decided to create The Marx Lounge, and to donate the books as a starting point, as the core, for the library for The Free Liverpool University, and that’s what we did. So the piece was shown in Liverpool and it ended there. And I never expected that the work would have another life after Liverpool….” – Alfredo Jaar, 2011
The Marx Lounge is currently on view at The Kitchen as part of the exhibition Creative Destruction – Curated by Denisse Andrade, Liz Park, Tim Saltarelli, and Kristina Scepanski – Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellows of the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program.