Making It All Work
2011 - In Curatorial Work
MAKING IT ALL WORK
- a seminar on work, labour and art
Søren Andreasen, Isabell Lorey and Camiel van Winkel
Saturday 22 of October 2011
Bergen Public Library
How does the field of art relate to work? In an interview, Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn emphasizes how he always uses the word ‘work’ about his artistic vocation. To be an artist is to work, and in using the word ‘work’, the work of the artist is linked to other types of work in contemporary society. Hirschhorn also points to how the word ‘work’ is an integral part of the term ‘artwork’. Within the field of art, there has been a transition from focusing on the complete work of art, to its work processes. Since the 1960s, one has increasingly understood art in terms of production and work. The seminar Making It All Work revolves around work, and it will examine working methods, practices and the understanding of work in social, historical and political contexts.
The title of the seminar, Making It All Work invites numerous interpretations. One way to interpret it, is how everything is turning into work – how life is, to different extents, about work – work as your life’s work and all the different aspects of work in these senses. An alternate reading of the title, is related to how one can make everything work -make everything function in your life and in the projects you are involved in. Both these interpretations relate to the themes of the seminar and to the work of the artist.
Isabell Lorey´s lecture is titled: The Becoming Public of Work: Virtuosity and Freedom
In her lecture, Lorey follows Paolo Virno’s argument that under Post-Fordism, labour based on service, communication and affect becomes public and therefore, in a sense, political. Hannah Arendt has compared the leading artists, the virtuosos, to those who are politically active: Those who, in her view, act politically, are exposed to the presence of others. She does, however, separate productive work from the sphere of political action. Contrary to Arendt, Virno argues that the distinction between public and private implodes under Post-Fordist conditions, as does the distinction between work and the sphere of political action. Because of their ideas of freedom and autonomy, Lorey will argue that cultural producers in this development behave less political than individualistic. Very often, they inhabit a special form of governable self-precarization.
Søren Andreasen´s lecture is titled What is not Work? A meditation on the use of the metaphor work in contemporary culture and how this figure affects the understanding of aesthetic experience.
Camiel van Winkel´s lecture is titled Middle Culture: Designers – Artists – Professionals He will approach the topic of art and work via the dialectics of art and mass culture. He will specifically discuss the role of design, the applied art form that somehow seems to transcend the high/low-dichotomy and is therefore an increasingly successful model of cultural production. Van Winkel will identify the effects this is having on contemporary art – the way the primacy of design has changed the things we expect from art and artists.
Søren Andreasen, visual artist who works and lives in Copenhagen. His latest exhibitions include Samling Mabuse, Overgaden, Copenhagen (2011), New Age, Brændergården, Viborg (2010) and ONTOTECH, Århus Kunstbygning (2009). He is part of the artists’ collective Koncern (1989-93) and the collaborative project rasmus knud (1999-2005). He has also curated several exhibitions, among them The Soft Shields of Pleasure, Den Frie Udstillingsbygning, Copenhagen (2008) and The Echo Show, The Tramway, Glasgow, with Lars Bang Larsen (2003). Andreasen also writes and publishes texts, among them the pamphlets QUALIA (2011) + teser og antiteser (Theses and Antitheses, 2010, self-published), the book catalogue ONTOTECH, Forlaget Århus Kunstbygning (2009), and a book made in collaboration with Lars Bang Larsen; The Critical Mass of Mediation, Idealistisk Internationale (October 2011). Teacher at Jutland Art Academy 2004-2010.
Isabell Lorey political scientist, teaches social sciences, cultural and gender studies as visiting professor at the Humboldt University Berlin and the Vienna University. From 2001-2007, she was assistant professor at Gender & Postcolonial Studies at the University of the Arts, Berlin. Lorey has published texts on feminist and political theory, and particularly: biopolitical governmentality, critical whiteness studies, political immunization, and precarization. Latest publications: Her studies on Roman struggles of order, the Plebeian, concepts of community and immunization were published in Figuren des Immunen. Elemente einer politischen Theorie at diaphanes, Zürich 2011. She co-edited Inventionen 1. Gemeinsam. Prekär. Potentia. Kon-/Disjunktion. Ereignis. Transversalität. Queere Assemblagen, ed. by Isabell Lorey, Roberto Nigro, Gerald Raunig, Zürich: diaphanes 2011 (for the English version see the issue of transversal Inventions among others, Isabell Loreys text Governmental Precarization). See also the recent issue of transversal on the world wide movements of occupation and assemblies in 2011.
Camiel van Winkel is professor of Visual Art at AKV|St. Joost (Avans University) in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. He teaches art theory at Sint-Lukas University College of Art and Design, Brussels, and is advisor at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. He is the author of Moderne leegte. Over kunst en openbaarheid (1999), The Regime of Visibility (2005) and De mythe van het kunstenaarschap (2007). His forthcoming book is titled During the Exhibition the Gallery Will Be Closed. Contemporary Art and the Paradoxes of Conceptualism (Amsterdam: Valiz, 2012). His current research, in close collaboration with sociologist Pascal Gielen, focuses on the hybridization of artistic practice. He also curates the exhibition Valéry Proust Museum/White Cube Fever in Mu.ZEE Museum for modern art inOostende, Belgium (opening 26 November 2011).
The seminar takes place during the festival Meteor in Bergen from October 20th - 29th 2011.
The seminar is presented in collaboration with Bergen Public Library and BIT Teatergarasjen and is funded by Arts Council Norway and Fritt ord.