Colección MACBA, Barcelona, 2023.

"One of the most memorable scenes in Cameron Crowe’s film, Jerry Maguire (1996), is the phone conversation between Rob and Jerry (played by Cuba Gooding Jr. and Tom Cruise). In it, Rob demands that Jerry repeats the phrase “Show me the money!” louder and louder, and Jerry, desperate not to lose him as a client, obeys. The artist Teresa Estapé has appropriated this phrase, as we will later see, due to the significance of the statement. The plot of the film is not particularly interesting, but in a way it shows the heyday of financial capitalism in the nineties, in which society is increasingly prey to the dictatorship of capital. Although the transformation from industrial capitalism to financial capitalism came earlier, this decade is characterized by the reaffirmation of an economic system that, while failed, was nevertheless reinforced by the collapse of the Soviet bloc, among other international crises.

In Valor Refugio II (2019), previously presented at the Goethe Institut and at the Kunst Haus (Vienna), she operates with the same purpose, camouflaging an 18-carat gold sheet and disguising it into a DIN A4 sheet. A number of other sheets of paper and the gold sheet cover the space, written on them without ink the aforementioned phrase: “Show me the money”. This unsurpassed slogan still resonates today, though it does not manifest itself in the same way. Its presence continues under mechanisms that are more difficult to identify, more perverse and silenced. 

In a filing cabinet next to the Valor Refugio II installation, the artist has filed the proforma invoices that she requests from a gold merchant, every week for the duration of the exhibition, in order to know the price of the quantity of that metal needed to make the DIN A4 sheet and its manufacture. In this way, it is possible to check the oscillation of the price and also confirm the fragility of safe havens. Once again reaffirming the fact that value is measured by what is quantifiable, not the qualifiable. As philosopher Brian Massumi says, it is time to reclaim value: it is too valuable to leave it in the hands of capital."

Zaida Trallero

Installation “Valor refugio II”. “Colección MACBA. Preludio. Intención poética”. Barcelona, 2023.

Detail of the embossing on paper and gold sheet / Complete view of the installation.

Gold price quotation invoices updated weekly.

Installation “Valor refugio II”. “Colección MACBA. Preludio. Intención poética”. Barcelona, 2023.