Iván Sikic originally got our attention a few months back when he hid a gold nugget in a dirt-filled house in Peru to raise awareness about illegal gold mining. The conceptual and performance artist is once again using the power of gold to explore another important sociopolitical issue, only this time the treasure hunt is metaphorical.
Sikic’s most recent installation in Valencia, cleverly titled It’s My Party and I do What I Want To! seeks to examine the incomprehensible widening of the wealth gap throughout the world. The concept of the installation is a reaction to an Oxfam study Sikic read which stated that in 2016, the 1% will own more than 50% of the world’s wealth (in other words, the accumulative wealth of the 80 wealthiest people equals the accumulative wealth of the 3.5 million poorest people).
The inspiration behind the powerful messages in Sikic’s installations occur when he encounters an issue that leaves him feeling defeated, confused, or helpless. He explains, “This feeling of being powerless motivates me and is more or less alleviated once the installation is complete. I’m not solving the problem – but i am trying to start a dialogue.”
It’s My Party… consists of a cluster of 99 silver balloons shaped like the number one, that hover a gold brick above a pool of thumb tacks. Each week, the sagging balloons are replaced with new ones, in an act that displays their thankless service and unavoidable demise. The thumb tacks are an ever present threat, as the deflated balloons litter the ground while the gold brick stays afloat.
“It’s the idea of how the collective have to lift this unit. The gold lasts forever but the balloons will fade and collapse one by one.”
With economic instability spreading across the globe, Sikic’s installation draws attention to the repercussions the vast majority of the population experiences, despite their lack of representation in economic policy and political legislation. As with the Greek debt crisis, the final outcome of It’s My Party… is unknown, as even Sikic is unsure whether the allotted helium can keep the brick afloat for the entirety of the installation.
Sikic was born in Peru and developed his artistic inklings while living in Melbourne, Australia. Through travel, he developed an increasing sense of social consciousness which naturally evolved into performance and conceptual art. Sikic recently moved to Brooklyn, NY and is developing thought provoking visual works throughout the world. Click here to see the rest of his portfolio and follow him on social media to keep up with his latest installations.
Images: Nacho López Ortiz, Adrián Salvador Candela, Fernando Rincón, Alberto Chávez & Iván Sikic