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  • Gold object player, A Comprehensive Atlas of Gold Fictions, Aram Moordian, 2011. Produced in collaboration with Unknown Fields Division at the Architectural Association

A Comprehensive Atlas of Gold Fictions by Aram Mooradian

What is Luxury? Object in Focus

Gold is a powerful symbol of status and cornerstone of the global economy. The Atlas of Gold Fictions is a research project which follows two different gold economies, financial and symbolic, and analyses the relationship between them. It looks at the gold mining industry in the outback of Australia and its impact on the surrounding landscape and communities, whose language and collective memory is closely connected to the land. Gold is extracted from these sites only to be formed into gold bricks, which are then put into vaults as an assurance against the fluctuations of other currencies.

A Comprehensive Atlas of Gold Fictions Cover, Aram Moordian, 2011. Produced in collaboration with Unknown Fields Division at the Architectural Association

In contrast, Mooradian looks at gold’s other material properties, in particular its capacity to circulate and store information. He suggests an economy of gold objects valued not as financial assets but for the memories and stories that they hold. An encoded eye chip holds the key to its owner’s true, hidden beauty, while an engraved pendant plays back a lover’s personal message in their absence. Mooradian describes these as ‘everyday objects that encapsulate the personal and cultural values that we so often fail to protect.'

Suicide bullet engraved with a goodbye poem, A Comprehensive Atlas of Gold Fictions, Aram Moordian, 2011. Produced in collaboration with Unknown Fields Division at the Architectural Association Headphone Jack encoded with an indigenous Australian songline of a landscape destroyed by gold mining, A Comprehensive Atlas of Gold Fictions, Aram Moordian, 2011. Produced in collaboration with Unknown Fields Division at the Architectural Association

Watch a video for A Comprehensive Atlas of Gold Fictions

Visit Aram Mooradian's website

Words by Jana Scholze and Leanne Wierzba, curators of What is Luxury? a Crafts Council and V&A partnership exhibition supported by Northacre at the V&A until 27 September 2015

A Comprehensive Atlas of Gold Fictions by Aram Mooradian is featured within the What is Luxury? exhibition 

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