Sucking Marks $10, commercial service, Scope Miami, 6–10 December 2006

Marlene Haring’s Sucking Marks $10 makes a charming offer for a very reasonable price. The equipment is very simple: a handwritten sign, a chair, alcohol swabs, contract and cash box. Each piece is unique, an unmistakeable sign of affection, with immediate physical effect. Yours for only ten dollars: wear it with pride. When was the last time you got a ‘hickey’ or a ‘love bite’? Like many of Haring’s works, Sucking Marks $10 engages directly not only her ‘audience’ but the rules society determines for the relationship between the artist and the collector, the producer and the consumer, the body and the commodity. The works resonate with the commonplaces and buzz-words of the contemporary economic environment where services are the new industries, ‘love marks’ are the new trademarks, ‘share your secret’ is an advertising campaign for deodorant , intimate contact is why you need a new cell phone, and where the porn industry in the US is worth more than the rest of culture put together, including Hollywood. Haring’s works and strategies scratch at the opaque surface of exchange.

Aias Vargas