Marshallian Scissors
Metal, Oil on Panel
9" x 12"
In rejecting cost of production theories of value Alfred Marshall introduced the scissors metaphor to convey the fact that both supply and demand simultaneously determine of value:
  1. “We might as reasonably dispute whether it is the upper or the under blade of a pair of scissors that cuts a piece of paper, as whether value is governed by utility or cost of production. It is true that when one blade is held still and the cutting is effected by moving the other, we may say with careless brevity that the cutting is done by the second; but the statement is not strictly accurate, and is to be excused only so long as it claims to be merely a popular and not a strictly scientific account of what happens.” (Marshall, 1920, p. 348)
Marshallian Scissors seeks to concretize the scissors metaphor, reversing the abstract and the real. And it conveys the risk endemic to the market. Nevertheless the old scissors, push pins and rusty razor blades question whether the welfare safety nets associated with the Great Societies have blunted the cutthroat survival of the fittest nature of capitalism. The wire loosely brings to the fore the whole notion of market forces and their relationship to Supply and Demand.