Flying Buck Exchange (2017), AsiaTOPA festival - MPavilion, Melbourne

Performance One -  Flying Buck Exchange: The Art of Invitation

Performance Two - Flying Buck Exchange: The Art of Consumption

Performance Three - Flying Buck Exchange: The Art of Trade

Performance Four - Flying Buck Exchange: The Art of Distribution

Flying Buck Exchange is a special presentation of an ongoing ‘Bucking’ performance project by Pakistani-Australian artist Abdullah M.I. Syed. Showcased over three days at MPavilion as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Syed’s tongue-in-cheek turn of phrase, Bucking, will see him consuming, distributing and exchanging currency, in this case, in the form of the fabled US dollar bills.

With an immediate surface playfulness underneath which lie more complex renderings of the dysfunctions of global market economies, the dissemination of power, and intrinsic neo-colonial concerns, the US dollar bill becomes a powerful instrument of addressing the micro and the macro. Where the body of the artist is in immediate play, occupied in acts of repetition and endurance, so too is the larger body of the audience, which becomes as an unwitting beneficiary of this seemingly innocuous act of engagement. Innocence and familiarity are tropes that draw those present into the field of action, however the medium itself and the progression of the performance into a more sombre and painful reality rapidly bring darker concerns hurtling to the forefront.

Flying Buck Exchange is a fascinating and at times confronting look at the central role that currency plays in economies of consumption and exchange and how money often navigates cultural and political identities.

Text courtesy of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art


The Flying Buck (2016), Art Central Hong Kong, Roundtable X 4A


HyperAllergic Media Inc.:

Taking place over three days of the Art Central Art Fair, the performance focused on the distribution, engagement, and consumption of the global art market. For “The Flying Buck” — which in Urdu translates as talking excessively, or gibberish — Syed spent more than an hour folding fresh, uncirculated $1 banknotes into paper airplanes, unfolding them, then eating and regurgitating them, producing a “Money Art Object.”