Currency Exchange by Kevin Gaynor
Currency Exchange will run from the 8-22 December 2021
In Currency Exchange euro coins are collected from the loose change received in purchases made in European shops. The embedded dirt from each coin is removed with a machine manufactured outside of the EU. The dirt is then transferred by hand onto over 2000 coins from 5 countries that produce the products sold in EU shops. They become coated in black euro-dirt, concealing their surfaces. Each coin is mounted in a continuous, unbroken line on the walls of the gallery. A spotlight follows the line as the buzzing of it’s Chinese made fans fill the space with a laborious drone. The transferal of currency-dirt presents the interwoven relationship between the European economy and the ambiguous, unseen labour that sustains it. Each coin is made invisible by the liquidised dirt of the euro, reshaping their identity through the European market. A continuous receipt falls from the ceiling, cascading onto the floor. The names of the seemingly countless factory workers cover the surface of the singular receipt, as their hourly wage runs parallel.
Kevin Gaynor is the recipient of the 2020 Galway Arts Centre and Engage Art Studios emerging artist award. Much of his work explores the international state, and the mechanics that support and underpin it. Focusing on the European Union as a centralised power, and Ireland’s role within it, his practice reflects on the classification of groups through the lens of geography. Using a combination of active-sculptural installation, and social engagement, the work explores geography’s effects on identity. Through these prisms of geographic class and colonial infrastructures, Gaynor concentrates on the mechanics of systematic categorisation, creating focal points that re-present the homogenisation of people and situations.
Kevin Gaynor completed his BA in Fine Art Sculpture at the National College of Art and Design and studied Cinematography at BCFE. Recently he received the Arts Council’s Next Generation Artist’s Award. Kevin’s work has been exhibited around the world, being selected as part of the Royal Dublin Society’s Visual Art Awards, MART Gallery & Studios Residency Award, and the Global UA Awards. He has and continues to work closely with ZK/U Berlin, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Green On Red Gallery, Engage Art Studios, and Fire Station Studios.
In partnership with Engage Art Studios and Galway City Council