Money defaced for political protests

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is offering a unique exhibition on how money has been defaced in past centuries to deliver political messages.

The exhibition entitled, ‘Defaced! Money, Conflict, Protest’ is open until May 24. “Dollar bills and coins, with their idealized portraits of leaders, emblems of national identity and heavily policed production, are an extension of state authority in hand-held form,” the exhibition’s narrative states. “For more than two centuries, artists and individuals alike have taken out their discontent with governments on that money – punching it, scratching it, overprinting and even digitally manipulating it.”

The inventive exhibition offers historical examples of defaced coins and banknotes exhibited alongside contemporary artworks. From laboriously scratched pennies to re-imagined dollar bills, Defaced! Money, Conflict, Protest tells the stories behind the damage, from the French Revolution to the Troubles in Northern Ireland to the Black Lives Matter movement. Organized by the AGO in collaboration with the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, U.K, the exhibit is on level 1 in galleries 141 and 142.

For more details, visit the AGO website.

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