The Grand Insolvency Show

“With their playful catalogue Jens Semjan and Bernhard Lermann create something that commonly is not attributed to data material: amazement, astonishment and ultimately the loss of a sense of security.”
“The artists create arithmetic equatorial bands around the globe and at the same time demonstrate that statistics generate a void.”
Die Welt, February 2010

“Slowly but surely the slide projectors throw one statistic after another on the walls of the room. A visual world of clear geometrical shapes: circles, columns and lines.”
Süddeutsche Zeitung, February 2010

Contemporary data culture has made a much more significant historical impact in recent decades, than any other form of analogue and traditional cultural development in history. Uncontrollable by any user in the world, data culture created a „virtual intelligence“. Statistics, as the central manifestation of data culture, now constitute social processes and drive numerous daily decisions, both on a micro and macro scale, that affect our futures. Statistical releases form ‘intuitive decisions’, and they force immediate attention, rating and scaling to create an illusion that we are in control of this new mass of global data. But what if we are not really in control? What if this is all just a modern form of fortune telling?

“The Grand Insolvency Show” is a polemic exhibition which focuses on a visionary and liberal idea of visual arts – Statistics. 320 slides with confronting statistics, across a range of global themes, are projected via four Kodak carousel projectors. The exhibition has been edited using publicly available data from global sources, including the OECD and Eurostat, but with the concept of turning serious statistical analysis into engaging art: The curves, columns and pie charts themselves are readymade pictures.

The show was for the first time presented in 2010 and was well received by critics and the audience.

Formal facts

The shows are being presented in English. Technical equipment, given by the artists: minimum 8 Kodak carousel projectors with 640 slides (2 copies of each statistic).