Gallery Steinsland Berliner is proud to present Artificial Scarcity, a solo exhibition containing photography, sculptures and digital works by Swedish artist Arvida Byström.
With works in executions ranging between virtual and material, from digital works to marble sculptures, Artificial Scarcity explores the economic conditions of an artistic practice. A visual language with thematic influences from economic bubbles, NFT:s and crypto currencies highlights the relationship between art and money – specifically how our relationship to objects change when their prices fluctuate.
NFT:s are a way to make digital works unique and have divided the art world during the last year. A great advantage of the digital medium is the possibility of creating limitless copies for free, should we then be striving to make this medium exclusive? That being said, artists with a primarily digital practice often have difficulties making money on their art as the art world often prices art works in relation to their rarity.
Tulips and teddy bears are recurring symbols in the exhibition as they have both been subject to economic bubbles hundreds of years apart. Teddy bears, specifically “Beanie Babies” from the brand “Ty” experienced a startling economic bubble during the late 90s in the US. The teddy bears were cleverly marketed as collector’s items and gave rise to a large demand causing buyers to spend their hard-earned assets just to later lose everything as they entered the speculative phase too late. Tulip mania is perhaps the most famous and fabled economic bubble. It refers to a period during the 1600s in the Netherlands when the market for tulip bulbs quickly escalated only to crash. The truthfulness of the event is disputed but the event is used as an example of similar chains of events.
Artificial Scarcity is Arvida Byström’s (b. 1991, Stockholm) second solo ehibition with Gallery Steinsland Berliner. She has lived and worked in London, Los Angeles, New York and Stockholm. Her previous exhibition Cherry Picking has been shown at Fotografiska in Stockholm, Museum der bildenden Künsten (Leipzig, DE) and Centre for Contemporary Photography (Melbourne, AU) among other places.