Discover Tuesdays Presents The Price of Everything

Discover Tuesdays Presents The Price Of Everything

Our Video Content Co-Ordinator Felicity Beckett takes a look at Nathaniel Kahn's documentary The Price of Everything, playing in Discover Tuesdays on 4 Dec.

The Price of Everything is an entertaining and fascinating glimpse into the uncomfortable yet utterly symbiotic relationship between art and money… lots and lots of money. More money than is imaginable to most mortals. Millions are notched up during auctions as if counting the seconds with breath-taking, bank draining ease. How did this incredible relationship between two seemingly opposed human interests happen and how is it sustained? Documentarist Nathaniel Kahn, who brought us the wonderful 2003’s My Architect about his world famous architect but absent father, Louis Kahn, presents a uniquely unjudgemental yet impishly nuanced view of the world that inspires often deeply emotional reactions in us all. Dealers, experts, collectors and artists all have their say in what they think the answers to these complex questions could possibly be. Does anyone actually know? Of course not.

Ambiguity, paradox and hypocrisy run amok but Khan’s cast of characters are an interesting, quite-likeable bunch. Larry Poons, a Warhol contemporary and artist who painted dots in the 60’s but fell out of favour when he changed tack (a crime on a scale of Dylan going electric), but is now enjoying being welcomed back into the world he reviled. A Nazi Germany escapee and renowned collector Stefan Edlis, sagely states that some people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. His generosity to the Guggenheim lets us know which side of the artistic fence he leans to and his good humour about the nonsenical nature of it all is also quite infectious and yet its just all so, so much money.

The art world presents us with bizarre, tragic, terrible, hilarious, cosmic riddles, why is a Jeff Koons’ inflatable bunny one of the most valuable pieces on the current market? The film reflects this extraordinary enigma with both delight and sinister unease, as it should. A thoroughly enjoyable watch.

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