What does 'the market' look like? What does money really stand for? How can the abstractions of high finance be made visible? Show me the money: The image of finance, 1700 to the present documents how the financial world has been imagined in art, illustration, photography and other visual media over the last three centuries in Britain and the United States. Richly illustrated, it tells the story of how artists have grappled with the increasingly intangible and self-referential nature of money and finance, from the South Sea Bubble of the eighteenth century to the global financial crisis of 2008.
Show me the money sets out the history and politics of representations of finance through five essays by academic experts and curators, and is interspersed with provocative think pieces by notable public commentators on finance and art. The book, and the exhibition on which it is based, explore a wide range of images, from satirical eighteenth-century prints by William Hogarth and James Gillray to works by celebrated contemporary artists such as Andreas Gursky and Molly Crabapple. It also charts the development of an array of financial visualisations, including stock tickers and charts, newspaper illustrations, bank adverts, and electronic trading systems.
Show me the money demonstrates that the visual culture of finance has not merely reflected prevailing attitudes to money and banking, but has been crucial in forging - and at times critiquing - the very idea of 'the market'.
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Paul Crosthwaite is a Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh
Peter Knight is a Senior Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Manchester
Nicky Marsh is a Professor in English Literature at Southampton University
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