Artist conducts social experiment that sees man steal feminist artwork.
The first part of ‘Thank you’ was a ruse, the set up of a social experiment. It included various props presented as artworks with necessary historical references and artistic credibility in their own right – with a camera placed above the pieces.
Circa 1912 one penny coins with a crudely stamped ‘VOTES FOR WOMEN’, across King Edward VII’s head started to appear. Little is known about who stamped the coins, nor how many were stamped. They were regarded as a Suffragette action targeting patriarchy.
Thank you riffs off the original 1912 suffragette coins.
‘EQUAL PAY 4’ is stamped across the Queen‘s head. The Equal Pay Act was introduced in 1970. In 1971 the ‘New Pence’ decimal currency was introduced, and Queen Elizabeth II’s allowance was increased from £475000 to £980000.
‘WOMEN’ is stamped across the heraldic badge of the Prince of Wales, which features on the reverse side of the coin. This was originally adopted by Edward, the Black Prince (1330‐1376), as a sign of respect to his mother, Philippa of Hainault; her political savvy and compassion saved the Burghers of Calais. The three ostrich feathers emerge from a coronet, the ribbon below is inscribed with the German mediaeval motto, ‘Ich dien’, meaning ‘I serve’. These words are also a near homophone for the Welsh phrase ‘Eich Dyn’, meaning ‘Your Man’.
Part 1 33cm x 48cm Glicee print on Somerset Enhanced 100% cotton – Professionally framed In black box frame with non reflective art glass £750 $US1040 €880 (Unframed £650 $US900 €765)
Part 2 unknown quantity of coins (to reflect the unknown quantity of coins stamped by Suffragettes) – POA
Part 3 2.5cm Stamped bronze coin in purple pouch (dating from 1971 – 1991) with green card. 2 stolen. £44 US$60 €51
The Social Experiment
The footage of guests at the private view documents the theft of feminist art works about equal pay, by a middle aged affluent white man. However, as per the nature of social experiments the piece lives on in the actions of those who are inclined to defend the position of the coin thief (see YouTube comments – although all but one defender has now deleted their comments – interesting in itself).