Of Value and Labour 2011

Solo show at The Guild Mumbai, 2011 December

Ravi Agarwal

The interrupted cycle of nature is inscribed by mass produced commodities which serve to fulfill wants and desires, and direct lives and materials. "A commodity is, in the first place, an object outside of us, a thing that by its properties satisfies human wants of some sort or another. The nature of such wants, whether, for instance, they spring from the stomach or from fancy, makes no difference. 
Neither are we here concerned to know how the object satisfies these wants, whether directly as means of subsistence, or 
indirectly as means of production" wrote Marx. 
Value is added throughout the chain with labour and technology, as both become equated in monetary terms. An "aura" of desirability determines the price, till it become worthless, as waste, only to be recovered back into the commodity cycle by the labour of the waste picker. There is an ongoing theatre of aura and decay. Intertwined in this economy are narratives of many lives and dignity, often homogenized through contestations of power and powerlessness.

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