Kennedy Browne
Milton Friedman on the wonder of the free market pencil

Milton Friedman on the wonder of the free market pencil is an installation based on 42 blank pages. On the first page, one can read the original version in English of the liberal speech by Milton Friedman on “The Story of the pencil”. On the other pages, the same text has been translated into 41 different languages by using Google Translate, before coming back to English. It is significant that Dublin, the artists’ home town, is also a centre for IT industries and the site of Google’s European offices. The final page becomes much shorter than the original text and it has been transformed into something raher incomprehensible. This work has not only an evident political and social dimension but also a poetic one: how a linguistic journey produces a loss of information but also leads to new interpretations. Kennedy Browne represented Ireland during the Venice Biennial in 2009, where this work was on view.

Kennedy Browne’s practice concerns itself with ways of temporarily occupying particular architectural fragments and cultural texts. Often they create incongruous territories between ‘real’ and artificial, politics and kitsch. The actors in their projects are concerned with global economics and natural resources, and as a series, these obscure cultural artefacts begin to re-trace an alternative historical trajectory linked to contemporary concerns.
Initiated in 2005, Kennedy Browne is the collaborative practice of Gareth Kennedy (b.1979) and Sarah Browne (b. 1981). Kennedy Browne lives and works in Ireland.