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SONGS FOR THOMAS PIKETTY
Dries Verhoeven

  • Thu 08/23

With “Songs for Thomas Piketty”, Dutch Artist Dries Verhoeven brings the famous
French economist’s thesis about the automatically growing gap between the rich and
poor to the streets. A begging ghetto blaster with a little bowl on it is placed
in the pedestrian zone. There the machine loudly asks passersby for some change on
repeat. — Verhoeven sees us as living in a world where we will be asked for help
more and more. We need to save Greece, refugees need our support and the beggar in
the wheelchair on Schwalbacher Straße can’t survive without help from wealthier
people. By constructing a veritable begging machine with “Songs for Thomas Piketty”,
Verhoeven pushes the radical economisation of our environment even further and
creates a magnet in the battle for our attention every day. How do we deal with
that feeling of discomfort inside? Are we already so numb that a machine will
affect us more than the person it represents? Do the poor need to start talking
about poverty?