"... the work
that holds the most direct claim to indicate the artists' position in regards
to today's main concerns is Plus valoarea [Surplus Value](2009), their
latest film, also realized on the occasion of the BAK exhibition. It underlines
the inherent contradictions of the system of accumulation and loss and the Marxist
belief in the primacy of the economic as the drive behind history. In pre-1989
Romania, students were required to take manual labor classes, involving mainly
knitting for girls and wood and metal carving for boys. But at the end of the
year, students were required to buy back their own manufactured objects, the price
rising proportionately with the complexity of the carving or piece of knitwork.
In Plus valoarea, the artists reproduce one of the first lessons in these
classes, the manual whittling down of a small piece of metal into nothing. However,
the retrieval of the memory of this pedagogical task goes beyond the absurdity
of the economic measures of state-run socialist economies or the waste and losses
of the expanding neoliberal capitalist ones. It asks some fundamental questions
regarding labor, profit, and materiality and gets down to the bottom line - universally
shared throughout systems or historical moments - a certain history of struggle."
excerpt from The History of Us All by Cosmin Costinas, Mona Vatamanu and Florin
Tudor, monographic publication published by BAK and Post Editions, 2009.