Froese’s 2014 series Numismatics (named after the field of study of coins, bank notes, and medals) presents detailed photographs of coins from a wide range of countries and periods. The portraits depicted read like ancient sculptural reliefs; Numismatics responds to the increasingly ‘faceless’ digital economy. His work explores power structures, heroes and villains and reminds us of the role hard currency has played as an agent of propaganda.
“It was Alexander of Macedon, whose portrait was the first in history to grace a coin around 300 BC and it manifested his claim to be the ruler of the known world. Money was the visible mirror of Alexander’s power and his image, stamped on a coin, also stamped his rule on the territory in which it circulated. But circulation of money not only affirms a delimitated space. In a globalised world the distribution of currencies reflects power beyond the national borders in which they are legal tender and stakes out visible claims of colonial and hegemonial influence.” – Joachim Froese