Too Big to Fail
In the framework of the exhibition “After Democracy” at Kunstraum
Niederösterreich, Vienna; 14/01 – 12/03/2011; curated by Raimar Stange
“Too big to fail” is how politicians assess major banks during economic
crises and why they claim that banks should be bailed out through public
money. Banks are regarded as essential to the system; their poor
performance can endanger the entire capitalist system.
In the piece “Too Big to Fail”, the four words “too big to fail” are
installed on a 16.85-meter-long wall in Kunstraum Niederösterreich. The
text’s letters consist of a photo showing people at a demonstration
organized on March 28, 2009 in numerous cities around the world. The
protestors marched under the common slogan: “We will not pay for your
crisis!” The demonstrations opposed a massive redistribution of public
resources from the bottom to the top, as practiced by the nation states
in their alleged attempts to manage the crises. While governments
assisted banks with billions, they took money away from the majority of
working people. In contrast to banks, no rescue plans focus on people
with financial problems and in poverty; their misery and discontent do
not threaten the system.
“Too Big to Fail” creates an image of the desire that the global
movement for a democratic transformation becomes system-relevant, no
longer ignored by those in power.