Concept design and artist: Emma Fay
Photographer: Philip Kingsley-Elton
Taking influence from biblical symbols of knowledge and the modern expression “the magical money tree”, ‘Profit’ depicts our human relationship with a uniquely shared social construct, exploring the ideas of faith and trust in a belief of money. As a mirror to Emma’s artwork ‘Axis Mundi’ in her series Origins, the artwork in Epoch plays on the words and idea of ‘currency’ and ‘profit’ to provoke thought on our values and behaviour.
“All money comes from a magic tree, in the sense that money is spirited from thin air. There is no gold standard. Banks do not work to a money-multiplier model, where they extend loans as a multiple of the deposits they already hold. Money is created on faith alone, whether that is faith in ever-increasing housing prices or any other given investment. This does not mean that creation is risk-free: any government could create too much and spawn hyper-inflation. Any commercial bank could create too much and generate over-indebtedness in the private economy, which is what has happened. But it does mean that money has no innate value, it is simply a marker of trust between a lender and a borrower. So it is the ultimate democratic resource. The argument marshalled against social investment such as education, welfare and public services, that it is unaffordable because there is no magic money tree, is nonsensical. It all comes from the tree; the real question is, who is in charge of the tree?” ~ Zoe Williams