Fiona Hall | Australia b. 1953 |Tender (detail) 2003-06 | US dollars, wire and vitrines | 86 nests, approx., ranging from 5 x 10cm (diam.) to 108 x 17 x 13cm; two vitrines (each comprised of three parts): 220 x 360 x 150cm (each); 220 x 360 x500cm (installed, variable) | Purchased 2006. The Queensland Government's Gallery of Modern Art Acquisitions Fund | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery
Fiona Hall’s practice includes major public commissions and projects that have embraced a broad range of media, and have increasingly engaged with themes of ecology, history and the effects of globalisation.
In Tender 2006, Hall explores the complex intersections between the natural world and human systems of trade. This refined, meditative installation consists of thousands of shredded US dollar bills painstakingly woven into 183 bird nests, each for a different species and its own particular habitat. The face value of these notes is deliberately destroyed in order to restore their use value — not as nests but as art. Hall poses two questions here: what happens when one's native habitat is invaded and eroded, and what happens when the almighty US dollar becomes the world's only accepted currency. Both the nests and their places of origin are greatly diverse. Many of the works were produced in the South Australian and Queensland Museums as well as during Hall's visits to Sri Lanka.