What’s love got to do with money?
Everyone wants to have it.
But, in order to yield its power, it must be both, given and received.
What if we could value love & money in the same way?
Why do we feel uncomfortable exchanging money for love and affection, but not for work? If work is performed out of love, a strong desire to give, does that work deem to be valued more, or less? If we put our hearts into our work, as artists often do, does it become more difficult to quantify and objectify its value? In a world where money rules, why does love go from being priceless to price-less? The artist explores the feeling of giving and receiving unconditionally, without explanation or justification of the act of giving or receiving, to investigate where the boundary lies between giving out of love, without expectation, and receiving something unexpectedly. When is receiving a pleasant surprise, and when is it not?
The artist argues that love is our energy, and our energy is what we put into our work in order to receive money, then where do we disconnect love and money from each other?
The artist announces she has a gift to give the audience, and asks them to do nothing but receive it. She stands in front of the room with her eyes closed, offering silently. Meanwhile in the background, a small red heart grows until it fills the screen with €10 bills.
The artist asks the audience if they received her gift. Someone in the left corner of the room says she did, and finds an envelope under her seat. She opens it to reveal, to her surprise, €10 in it.
The artist asks if anyone else received her gift. She walks over to a man sitting in the front and offers him a hug, which he immediately accepts.
The artist tells the audience, what she has offered them is her love.
She asks if someone in the audience is willing to offer it back to her. Another audience member volunteers. The artist walks over to her and declares a condition on the receipt of the hug — she will reciprocate with €10. The volunteer refuses to accept the money, but they hug anyway. The artist offers her the €10, which she profusely refuses.
The artist asks, What if love = money?
What if giving = getting?
The artist gives all 30 people in the room a personalised red envelope, containing the following card, with two €10 bills inside.
The artist asks each person to perform 3 acts in their own lives, and report their experiences.
act 1: give someone an unconditional, unexplained €10.
ACT 2: GIVE SOMEONE AN UNCONDITIONAL, UNEXPLAINED hug.
act 3: ask someone for a hug, then offer them €10 for it.
The artist provided the two €10 bills to encourage participation and also to distribute her own personal money to anonymous people unknown to her that she could not benefit directly.
Only 10 out of 30 people reported performing the 3 acts. Their responses were collected by survey, or verbally.
Out of the 10, only 5 were able to perform Act III, to offer money in exchange for a hug.
participate in the ongoing performance of this piece
Act 01: Give someone an unconditional, unexplained €10
Act 02: Give someone an unconditional, unexplained hug
Act 03: Ask someone for a hug and offer them €10 for it