Ghostmarkets was born out of fieldwork begun in prison in September 2019. Taking as their starting point the prohibition of all transactions in the carceral space, ten male prisoners set about creating a network of monetary production within the walls. The debates that take place during this process reveal the prior existence of an underground economic system of which barter and alternative currencies, such as cigarettes, were only the fragments: an invisible infrastructure based on the exchange of services, honour debts and the performance of masculinity determines the structure of the prison hierarchy. Directing and capturing these exchanges, Julie Ramage gradually measures the stakes bound up with the images produced: the SD card verification protocol transforms her camcorder into a surveillance tool; moreover, the legal obligation to have the captures validated by the prison administration converts it into an institutional communication tool. Over the weeks, gifts and counter-gifts testify to the deep symbolic exchanges that take place with her work group and the power issues at play in the interstices of the project. In order to transcribe the complexity of this experience, and to pay homage to her imprisoned collaborators, she has chosen to organise her audio, video and textual archives into a double device: an installed film and a printed object.
Julie Ramage, born in 1987 in France, is a visual artist and researcher associated with the CERILAC laboratory at the University of Paris Cité. Her work has been presented in the United States, Argentina, England, Spain, Germany and France, at the Centre Pompidou, the Beaux-Arts de Paris and the Cité Internationale des arts, among other institutions. She lives and works between Paris and Lille.
With John Dow, Ben, Christophe, Brahli, Sparafucile, Youssef Rhnima, Philippe T., Ilich