Schuld macht frei

Schuld macht frei, 2017
LED message board

The German word “Schuld” has a double meaning: “debt” but also “guilt.” The seemingly illogical phrase “Schuld macht frei,” reminiscent of the infamous Nazi slogan “Arbeit macht frei,” means “debt/guilt sets you free.” Translated into 20 of the world’s most spoken languages, the phrase appears over and over on a scrolling message board reminiscent of stock market imagery. In each language, the translation of “Schuld” carries its own multifaceted meaning beyond simply “debt” in a financial sense. It reflects the incompatibility of culture-specific morality with globalized financial markets and monetary policy. The work was made for installation above the entrance to Kastela Art Center in Piraeus (Athens) on the occasion of the international group exhibition Edge.Piraeus.