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Frieze Lloyd Corporation
Bankrupt. Bulk Buy. Repossession. LiquidationCourtesy of Lloyd Corporation

This Frieze show asks why the world makes so much shit

Performance duo Lloyd Corporation will set up a makeshift warehouse site at Frieze to show the gravity of our increasing production

Guerilla performance duo, Lloyd Corporation, who created a makeshift internet cafe and used Hillary Clinton’s emails to comment on racism, poverty and politics at Frieze last year are back for 2017. This time they're turning their space into a makeshift warehouse site to turn a lens on the complexities of globalisation and consumption.

Bankrupt. Bulk Buy. Repossession. Liquidation is a series of sculptural works based on the duo’s research into wholesale job lots and liquidated businesses, and the discourse that arises around the objects found in these places. What are their identities and narratives, and how do these discarded objects speak about globalisation and consumption? “The idea came from a piece we did in January where we were invited into a curatorial project to use a one-week auction on eBay as a platform for producing work. We made something on that which started a process of looking at the wholesale job lots section on eBay. Wholesale job lots are spaces that sell boxes of objects that are either faulty or excess objects from shipping containers or objects from liquidated businesses required to sell all they have to escape debt.” The show will curate items Lloyd Corporation have collected over seven years, particularly drawing on a trading estate in Dagenham and the liquidated items of BJ Brown Enterprises. 

”There’s a lot about national identity as a commercial or consumer symbol – that’s interesting in the current Brexit moment. The resonance it has when you are buying this stuff on eBay becomes completely different when you bring it into an aesthetic or art context. It makes you think, what is the current value of these national symbols?” – Lloyd Corporation

Bankrupt uses art to diverge the globalisation conversation away from political rhetoric to personalise what can feel like a distant world issue. As viewers navigate tight corridors, the show juxtaposes mass production and personal resonance to materialistic objects to show that we are all inextricably linked to globalisation. “The objects are what you expect, cheap plastic goods from China, but there’s also quite a diverse range of things that come from the more local or specific contexts like a company that has gone out of business: wedding rings, prayer mats, sleeping bags that had been left behind. So you can start to see different identity in the objects. That for us was important because it started to take the conversation away from mass production to look at personal artefacts and how they get wrapped up in exchanges and economies. It’s important to have both spectrums of production and consumption – you have this informal economy of the middle and lower class, and then you have the examples of big items from liquidated companies."

Nationalism as a commodity is another big theme addressed in Bankrupt. “One of the things that’s quite prevalent, particularly on one of the shelves, is national motifs. For example, we found tables that were produced for the London Olympics but never used, a box of England merchandise t-shirts, a conservative party banner from the 97 election. There’s a lot about national identity as a commercial or consumer symbol – that’s interesting in the current Brexit moment. The resonance it has when you are buying this stuff on eBay becomes completely different when you bring it into an aesthetic or art context. It makes you think, what is the current value of these national symbols?”

Bankrupt. Bulk Buy. Repossession. Liquidation is part of Frieze London's emerging talents section, October 5-8, Regents Park