Money & Marbles, Dov Abramson’s ‘Open Up’

21 Mar

Open Up (‘Patoach Tiftach’) 194 glass boxes, 10x10x10cm each, 7147 marbles

“כי יהיה בך אביון… פתוח תפתח את ידך לו והעבט תעביטנו די מחסורו אשר יחסר לו”

“When any of your brothers is poor… open up your hand generously, and extend to him any credit he needs to take care of his wants.”  (Deuteronomy 15:7-8)

“Open Up (‘Patoach Tiftach’)” is an infographic installation designed to depict the comparative wealth of the world’s countries. Each of the 194 countries of the world is represented by one transparent glass box, containing an amount of marbles that represents its Gross National Product.

The transparency of the boxes allows intriguing near-interactions between the various countries and societies: developing countries looking up at wealthy ones, well-to-do countries side-by-side, and so forth. The piece even proposes the conceptual visualization of issues such as outsourcing, immigration and wealth distribution.

The potential mobility of wealth and resources, while at first glance seems close at hand – ‘right there’, so to speak – is nonetheless met with walls, albeit transparent ones.

Who has more? Who less? Why? Can this change? Should we be active in re-distributing the marbles ‘fairly’, as on a children’s playground, or do we allow the pieces to fall where they may? These are the questions that ‘Open Up’ poses to us all.

Hopefully, ‘Open Up’ will confront its viewers with the current state of global inequality regarding wealth, resources and opportunities. The piece does not preach to a specific solution, but rather enhances the understanding of the present status, thus sparking a conversation: Is change in order? If so, how should we go about making that change? Are these boxes ready to be ‘opened up’?

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