References to gold in visual and material culture have often emphasised its status as a repository for standardised (economic) value. By analysing the contemporary role of gold in the post-1971 context of our globalised neoliberal economy I aim to delineate a different and more nuanced articulation of gold as a material for contemporary art. Alongside this in-depth research, my creative art practice will supplement these studies by focusing on the process of electroplating, whereby a micron thick layer of gold is deposited onto a metallic substrate. The film and installation works produced will test theories and concepts emerging in the research, utilising this alchemic reaction to re-articulate the position of gold within contemporary art. In summary, the project is grounded in detailed research into the unique materiality of gold and its historical, economic and symbolic roles in recent art history and culture, and will offer new analysis of economic, anthropological, art theory and psychoanalytic texts and theories referring to gold’s agency
complemented by creative art practice interrogating this position further.