Yarr, if it’s gold you be seeking, to England you should go: a German artist has buried $16,000 worth of gold bullion in the sand of the Outer Harbour beach in Folkestone – and anyone is welcome to come search for it during the Folkestone Triennial. As part of an art project entitled Folkestone Digs, Michael Sailstorfer buried the 30 bars of gold under the sand of the beach as part of a participatory art project which he hopes will attract many people to the area at low tide on Thursday, Sept. 4 to search for it. “It’s about people coming to the beach and digging and possibly finding hidden treasure,” Triennial curator, Lewis Biggs told The Guardian. “Some people will get lucky, some people will not get lucky – and that’s life.”
The buried bars are all of different sizes made of standard gold bullion, with each being worth hundreds of dollars. And if you find one, you get to keep it. The concept behind the art, according to Biggs, is whether or not people decide to keep the gold or trade it in for cold hard cash. “An interesting part of the artwork is considering whether it is going to be worth more as an artwork. Do you take it to the pawnbrokers, or do you take it to Sotheby’s? Or do you keep it on the mantelpiece because you think it is going to be worth later? Will its price increase as an artwork or as a piece of gold?”
The piece is commissioned by Bristol-based arts producers, Situations – an organization that aims to change the perception of what public art can be. “So often, public art funding is spent on a static sculpture or a bauble on a roundabout and part of what we do is say, actually sometimes a temporary project can have as much impact in the collective memory as something that has been there a long time,” Situations director, Clair Doherty told The Guardian. Either way, it could be well worth your time to show up on Thursday and get your dig on.
Via The Guardian