A Very Beautiful Laundromat is a curatorial platform and project-machine for expanded practice at the intersection of art and economy. Between 2016-2018 it will develop and present a number of public iterations as artist-led responses to the behaviour of economy.

These iterations will come in the form of ironing services, performance lectures, dinner dates, diagrams, dirty laundry, liquid lunches, therapy, radical business plans, group situations, audio documentaries, posters, essays and other text-based objects.

The initial creative development for this endeavour was seeded through an Australian Council grant (Experimental Arts). It has also been supported through NAVA and a number of residences conducted in Europe and North America throughout 2015.

This is a project conceived and directed by Rebecca Conroy in collaboration with a range of partners and artist led practitioners.

The following iterations are planned for the period 2016 – 2018

MONEY LAUNDERING —An artist led experimental business incubator (2015 – 2018)
DATING AN ECONOMIST —A series of performative dinner dates with economists and a 4 part experimental audio documentary (2016)
WALKING TO THE LAUNDROMAT   —An audio walk exploring mindfulness and dirty laundry (2016)
MARRICKVILLE SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS – A creative accounting and artist-led curriculum for studying and developing new ways to do economy.
IRON LADY —A performance installation and ironing service for the finance district of Sydney (2016)
DIAGRAM OF A WASHING MACHINE —A poster print and performance lecture (2017)
CURRENCY —An expanded exhibition format (2018)

A Very Beautiful Laundromat is a ‘going concern’


A Very Beautiful Laundromat is concerned with the terrain and behaviour of finance capitalism and the specific ways it articulates the condition of the artist as flexible, precarious, and in a perpetual cycle of innovation. Using the laundromat as an experimental economic outfit, this project is interested to mimic and occupy the ways in which the grammar of finance has infiltrated the relational, subjective and affective domains, giving rise to a number of derivative circuits for capital such as the share-economy, gig-economy, and collaborative consumption.

This project also intends to bring the artistic labouring body into literal contact with finance capitalism. By experimenting with the business model of the Laundromat, this artist-led project intends to establish and operate a laundromat as an intervention into the feast and famine economy of the much lauded ‘creative’.

Whilst the laundromat is a ‘going concern’, A Very Beautiful Laundromat will also serve as a platform for a range of other tasks and initiatives that imagine and test out how we can ‘do economy differently’.

It takes as its starting point the labouring body of the artist as the ultimate poster child for neoliberalism—as a contradictory site for both the production of commodified subjectivity, and its disruption. As an interdisciplinary and multi­-platform art project focusing on forms of participatory exchange, publication, event and encounter, this project-machine will investigate the parallel strategies of art and finance and the specific ways they embrace in an awkward dance of common fictions around speculation, value, and labour. It is curious about the pernicious ways that the corruption of language and myth-­making of “free market” neoliberalism has come to assume a dominant position in society through the production of subjectivity, the generation of affect, and the determination of desire. And it intends, in no uncertain terms, to fuck with it.

The curatorial side of the project will pursue an experimental platform that hopes to render visible the flows of capital and bring together artists, artist groups, curators, finance managers, traders and economists to explore the numerous ways the discursive instruments of finance shape and invent new myths around economy and ‘fictitious capital’. It will attempt, for useful and playful reasons, to chart the synergies and parallels, both actual and imagined, of artistic production and the language of economy—principally those concerning risk, speculation, and exchange value.