A century ago, one of the worst international conflicts came to an end. Of the 65 million involved in the war, some 8.5 million were killed, 21.2 million were injured, and 7.8 million were wounded or missing. A power struggle between the different participants, the scale of the deaths and injuries was phenomenal, yet pointless, and the First World War changed the shape of Europe for ever, resulting in the fall of the imperial dynasties in Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Russia and laying the foundations for the Second World War twenty years later.
What would the soldiers who fought for a brave new world think of the world a century later with mobile phones, personal computers and electric cars, with talk of driverless ones, while warfare has been transformed through the use technology. Even currency has changed; the German soldiers would be surprised to find that the Deutsche Mark no longer exists, having been replaced with the Euro, and there is now even a digital currency – cryptocurrency.
British artist Paul Wager’s exhibition ‘Requiem for the Emblem of Power’ fills the tiny space of Dadiani Fine Art Mayfair with emblems embedded in graphical artworks reminiscent of the era and memorial sculptures which contain debris from the battlefield as he remembers the waste of life from powerful countries fighting against each other.
Dadiani Fine Art is leading the way into another brave new world by being the first UK gallery to accept cryptocurrency as payment for works of fine art and, for this exhibition, it this the only payment method that can be used. Eleesa Dadiani considers this a symbol of a more democratic and personalised world where individuals can take back power from the politicians and the state.
An interesting innovation – will it start a new currency movement in the art world?