2014-04-25

It Is Worth its Weight in Gold


In the dialectic of "use value" and "exchange value"essential, as Marx showed (Capital: Critique of Political Economy, 1867), to understand the functioning of capitalism, a simple pallet and a gold bar represent its extremes. Thus, although in practice any commodity would have, even if minimally, some proportion of both, the fact is that the gold bar could be considered to have almost exclusively "exchange value", while the pallet would in turn practically only mean "use value". Yet both share particular characteristics with regard to weight, size, density, transportation, storage, etc. Then, what if the pallet, usually hidden and neglected, used to support proper commodities, becomes an artwork, precisely the commodity with almost only "exchange value"; and what if, similarly, the gold bar is taken out of the dark treasury chambers to be showed in the common spaces, to be used...