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Selected Moments in the History of Economic Art

1924 – Marcel Duchamp issues Monte Carlo Gambling Bond

The Monte Carlo Gambling Bond [Obligations pour la roulette de Monte Carlo] was a small edition Marcel Duchamp made using cut-and-pasted gelatin silver prints on a lithograph with letterpress. The Marcel Duchamp Studies Online Journal (MDSOJ) describes the bond:

A parody of a financial document in a system for playing roulette, this Readymade revolves around the idea of monetary transactions. Giving himself the position of Administrator, Marcel Duchamp conceived of a joint stock company designed to raise 15,000 francs and thus “break the bank in Monte Carlo”. It was to be divided into 30 numbered bonds for which Duchamp asked 500 francs each. However, less than eight were actually assembled[...].

License Action (Jan. 17 – 18, 1981), By Guerilla Art Action Group

In 1981, Guerrilla Art Action Group (GAAG) made 10 license cards, like the one pictured above. The cards came in a small manila envelope with a red stamp on the front. Each card comments on a different person or government agency that in some way limits or controls peoples’ freedoms through abuses of their power.

The cards are both humorous and very serious. They take aim at individuals like (deceased Senator) “Strom Thurmond’s National Security And Terrorism Committee


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