RYAN LEE Gallery is pleased to present My name is Jonas Lund and I approve this message, a site-specific installation in RLWindow, by artist Jonas Lund. Viewable from the High Line, the proclamatory call-to-action billboard is the most recent manifestation of a series of physical and digital works that are part of his Jonas Lund Token (JLT) series.
In 2018 the artist began commodifying himself by selling Jonas Lund Tokens (JLT), a cryptocurrency that represents shares in his artistic practice. Participants, patrons, and passersby can actually purchase Jonas Lund Tokens – which were developed by the artist pre-NFT boom – to acquire stock in the artist. This project, which pokes fun at crypto, art, and financial markets alike, relinquishes creative control to shareholders. The resulting relationship between Lund’s own practice and his collectors is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the power of market forces in the contemporary art world. Lund’s token holders, through a transference of ownership, are granted votes on the decisions and trajectories of Lund’s practice, thus making the relationship between artist and patron explicit.
“Art has always been a reflection of the times we live in,” says Lund. “In an era dominated by technology and constant connectivity, it’s essential for artists to engage with these concepts and provoke meaningful discussions. My work aims to not only comment on the digital age but also to invite the audience to critically examine their role within it.” – Chat GPT as Jonas Lund
An iteration of past site-specific artworks, Lund’s latest installation, executed in the language of advertising, will confront High Line visitors with the directive: “Collect Jonas Lund.” Lund perverts a familiar form of media and plays not only with the follies and whims of the art market as an investment strategy, but also with consumers’ fickle attentions.
An invitation and a subversion alike, My name is Jonas Lund and I approve this message operates within the rules of crypto ownership and of the art world at large, yet at the same time breaks them. Lund’s critical explorations of the meaning and significance of production, authorship, participation, and the market blend in with the commodified landscape when seen from the High Line, ironically elevated above one of the most power-hungry cities in the world.