M&A presents itself as a theatrical scene about investing, shifting values, and employment conditions, rehearsed by a single actor in a gallery space.

The script is about an actor rehearsing in a gallery space and the employment conditions of this actor. Dramaturgically the script is modelled on a confidential trading strategy developed by investment banker Paul Leong for this artwork.

Whenever the artwork is exhibited, the full production budget of the exhibition is traded on the stock market by an automated trading algorithm following Leong’s strategy, starting on the day of the opening. The performance of the trading algorithm determines the duration of the actor’s contract, which is extended only as long as the budget lasts.

When the money runs out, the actor’s contract is terminated and the accumulated traces of the rehearsals are what remain.

First exhibited at ArtspaceNZ (2013) with Jo Randerson (playwright), Paul Leong (investment banker), Ybodon (computer scientist), Anna Heymowska (set designer), Johan Hjerpe (graphic designer) and Stephen Bain (actor). Curator: Caterina Riva. The work was acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2017.

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