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Weak Tongue / Sharp Smile

Sharp Smile was an exhibition project conceived for MACRO, Rome, by artist Eva Barto to unfold with and in contrast to its counterpart in Paris, the show Weak Tongue at Le Plateau – Frac île-de-France. Both exhibitions, which took place one after the other in 2022, continued and expanded Barto’s research into the relationships that govern the codes of property and production, and in particular into the legal and economic infrastructures that regulate liaisons of philanthropy and patronage in the contemporary artworld and beyond.

While Weak Tongue focused on the ambiguities of omission, on the manipulations, interpretations, and deviations of rules and of laws, which exist to protect both those who make and those who circumvent them, Sharp Smile, on the other hand, disclosed the very mechanisms concealed by the Parisian exhibition by implementing a seemingly opposite strategy: virtue signalling.

The current publication gathers the elements of negotiation involved in both projects.