Just days after the 2008 financial meltdown, British artist Damien Hirst’s record-breaking Sotheby’s auction made headlines worldwide. As banks and stocks collapsed, Hirst cashed out 223 pieces of work with a smirk. Asking the reasonable market price of contemporary art is akin to asking what makes good art. It’s worth what someone’s willing to pay, and for the general public, that amount may appear completely ridiculous. But if you’re fortunate enough to be among the 1 per cent and you treat your latest Jeff Koons acquisition as an investment, you’re going to make sure it retains its value. From artists to galleries, auction houses to collectors, each player has their motives in this game of spectacle and speculation. Director Barry Avrich paints a vivid picture of an economy that runs contrary to any rules and regulations while laying bare a system that has converted canvases into commodities. Alexander Rogalski
Co-presented by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.