Why does a nurse earn less than an investment banker? Are her actions less valuable? Is her work less respected? To portray the uneven distribution of salaries in today’s world we came up with an art experiment dedicated to the value of labor. Therefore we've compared salaries from more than 50 different job titles.  

How? By letting everyone do a unifying task. We gave our 50 participants one hour to paint a completely black art piece. All paintings looked similar but had one great difference: the price tag. We sold every painting for the hourly wage of the person - ranging from 4$ (cleaning lady) to 500$ (investment banker). We also filmed the one-hour-process of painting to see how every single one of them approached the task. 



Time lapses of two participants: one hour condensed into a couple of seconds. 


Schwarzmarkt premiered in October 2014, taking place in an iconic high-rise bunker in Hamburg. On seven floors visitors experienced the entire origination process and, if they wanted, they were even able to paint a picture themselves. 

Furthermore Schwarzmarkt was part of the "Work in Progress" conference in 2015. One of the world's leading conferences exploring the future of labour. For all videos of the one hour long painting process and further information please visit the Schwarzmarkt website. A press video can be found here.


Schwarzmarkt exhibition @ Work In Progress 2014, Hamburg



Artists: YQP Collective (Florian Dohmann, Maximilian Hoch, Manuel Urbanke)
Location: XH-Collective, Hochbunker Hamburg
Fashion design: Charlotte Kehl, Jana Köder
Music: Beatbude
Photos: Teresa Horstmann
Tags: art, experiential, exhibition, Hamburg, bunker