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Arts

Art, power and money: It's complicated

Art must be free - but what happens when it's controlled by money and power? An exhibition in Berlin shows how many artists have explored this issue by making their own money - or just by making cash dirty.

In 1979, the cult German performance artist Joseph Beuys scribbled "Kunst = Kapital" on a banknote and signed it, and it became art. The work is among the different coins and banknotes on show at the exhibition "Art Coins Money: MUSE MACHT MONETEN," on show through May 27 at the Berlin Bode Museum.

A part of the title was kept in German as it's an untranslatable play on words. "Macht," written with a capital, means "power," whereas "macht," uncapitalized, translates to "makes."  "Moneten" is slang for money. The exhibition reflects on how money and power potentially vulgarizes art.

The gallery above shows some of the works on display, demonstrating that the relation between art, power and money will never be an easy one.

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