With the collection Money Makes the World Go Round – part of Design Triennial “Conflict & Design” – Tine De Ruysser makes a comment on the value that we attach to gold and money.
With this collection of money ornaments Tine De Ruysser makes a comment on the value that we attach to gold and money.
The two materials are closely related. Paper money was invented because it was easier and safer to use than gold coins. For a long time banknotes were worth gold because no more money was printed than there was gold in the bank to cover it. This relation is now reversed: gold is now worth money.
However, golden items of personal adornment are still worn for various reasons. Ornaments display, for instance, the wealth of the owner. A further reason may be that the wearer prefers to keep his worldly goods within arm’s reach. In case of need a gold jewel can be easily exchanged for money. It can also be otherwise because, if you wear Tine De Ruysser’s money ornaments, you also show that you have money, albeit in a subtle way, because the notes are folded in such a way that you can never see them completely. They are still recognizable as money. You can even just unfold them and transform them into useful banknotes. All banknotes in the collection were in fact legal tender at the time of being made into ornaments. The notes are simply folded and in no way damaged by cutting or pasting. However, it is origami money for which you pay more than the value of the banknotes because, just like gold ornaments, the designer-maker and the gallery live from the sales.
Tine De Ruysser began the collection with two pieces for an exhibition at the Bank of America in London, where she questioned the relation between dollars and gold. That was the start of the larger collection in which the relation between the perception of money and gold in our society is questioned.
The ornaments are beautiful, bold and easy to wear. They come in all shapes, colours and sizes. However, the collection makes you pause and consider the value that we attach to money. She confronts you with the duality between wanting to have lots of money and showing it off via your visible belongings, such as mobile phones and jewels on the one hand and the taboo against talking about how much money you earn on the other. Is it really important to have lots of money and to show it? Is our society too greedy? The ornaments contribute to the debate raging around the subject, especially since the economic crisis struck and we were all regularly confronted with financial problems. This from a personal perspective rather than from the sometimes abstract perspective of bankers and economists.