In this edition of First Thursdays artist, musician, and writer Seth Kim-Cohen invites you on a morbid joy ride through the physical and financial violence of late-stage capitalism.
Careening like a tech stock IPO from krautrock to investment banking to Marxist terror, this investigative performance titled Bargeld ist die neue Liebe (Cash is the new Love), is comprised of video, music, slapstick comedy, and a disquisition on the debasement of democratic ideals in the age of finance capital.
This event is presented in partnership with Liquid Architecture.
Multiple lines of history—past, present, and future—converged when a mass of copper was propelled at more than 2 km per second through the armor-plated door of Alfred Herrhausen’s Mercedes in 1989. At the time of his murder, Herrhausen was Chairman of Deutsche Bank and had led the institution’s expansion from a regional lender to a major player in global finance. The assassination is thought to have been carried out by the Baader-Meinhof gang, left wing radicals responsible for bombings, kidnappings, and killings over a three-decade span, starting in 1968. Uwe Nettelbeck, was an early champion of the Baader-Meinhof gang, publishing an article about the trial of Andreas Baader in Die Zeit, and subsequently serving as editor of the underground magazine Konkret, which served as the revolutionary mouthpiece for Ulrike Meinhof. Nettelbeck went on to form and produce the band Faust, part of the generation of German bands which would create the genre known as “krautrock.”
Meanwhile, Alfred Herrhausen’s vision for Deutsche Bank survived his murder. In the 1990s Deutsche Bank made increasingly aggressive incursions into the New York investment banking market. One of their high-profile clients was a real estate developer who had burned his bridges with every lender in the city. With Donald Trump unable to secure a loan from any other financial institution, Deutsche Bank saw an opportunity and a late-night, late-capitalist swipe-right marriage of convenience was born. Had it not been for Herrhausen’s vision for Deutsche Bank, Trump may have forever remained a mid-level bit player in New York real estate.
Seth Kim-Cohen is the author of Against Ambience (2013), In The Blink of an Ear: Toward A Non-Cochlear Sonic Art (2009), and One Reason To Live: Conversations About Music (2006). His gallery-based practice, which Artforum describes as “collegial and awkward, a real-life mistake framed by a semifictitious context”, has been presented on all but three continents. His bands Nil/Resplendent, The Fire Show, and Number One Cup have released eight full-length albums since 1995. Kim-Cohen is Associate Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.