CryptoGallery #ONE of the Hamburg-based artist Christoph Faulhaber is the first crypto-gallery of its kind in a German museum. The digital exhibition space exists as a virtually walkable architecture in the online metaverse Decentraland. The cooperation project with Kunsthalle Mannheim is a space for digital art where the possibilities of digital exhibition formats are explored and the specific behavior of online visitors is examined. With CryptoGallery #ONE, Christoph Faulhaber, who is known for his political and socio-critical projects, opens the view to the world of NFTs, their functions and market mechanisms. “A collection of digital waste as a response to the hype surrounding NFTs and the question of how artworks and economic values relate to each other and whether digital scrap (oldcoins, shitcoins) can be recycled through art,” is how Faulhaber describes his exhibition project.
The digital replica of a London property formerly owned by Ruja Ignatova, who on 2016 was already convicted of the failure to file for insolvency in due time, serves as the exhibition space. As the initiator of the virtual currency OneCoin, which was to be based on a non-public blockchain running on private computers, Ignatova offered investors only sales presentations and vouchers, thus swindling her clients out of several billion euros. At the end of 2017, she disappeared without a trace. Ignatova has been put on a global wanted list and belongs to the FBI’s ten most wanted persons. “By dealing with this bizarre cryptocurrency episode, Christoph Faulhaber highlights the blockchain hype and the attendant narratives, emotions, wishes, and fantasies, giving deep insights into the abysses of our society. What comes to light are alchemist dreams of digital gold mining and the transformation of art into currency,” says Heiko Daniels, Kunsthalle Mannheim.
CryptoGallery #One is a cooperation project with the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart and Marta Herford.
CryptoGallery #ONE is also on view as part of the exhibition "SHIFT. AI and a future community" at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (04.02.2023 - 21.05.2023) and at the Marta Herford (17.06.-15.10.2023). Further virtual exhibitions in the basement of the CryptoGallery #ONE, are planned for these periods. These do not necessarily deal with the Ignatova case, but are always in the context of blockchain and NFT developments, which they question again for their validity and effectiveness.
For their kind support and cooperation, we cordially thank: Martin Himmelheber (NRWZ). Johan von Mirbach (Kryptoqueen, die Serie) a&o buero filmproduktion gmbh, Cologne, arte, WDR and Versepective Architecture (3D designer).
Curators: Heiko Daniels, Christoph Faulhaber, Johan Holten