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Art (...) Work
Book / May 2017
For sale at Museumshop Stedelijk Museum and Boekie Woekie Amsterdam (€20,-)
"I was thinking of what E. said over the weekend in our Sunday morning deli-meet-up with coffee and bagels. Thinking on that (the deli that is): E.'s probably sitting there right now, whilst me sitting here next to the hideous office plant. Artists... lucky bastards. Anyway, she said something about secretaries turning into writers themselves."
Art (…) Work shows the divergent positions, workings and subjectivities of artist and worker. The worker behind his desk and the artist in his studio are exemplifications of different roles and identities shaped by a complex of societal (mainly capitalist) constructions, myths and beliefs. The division of the individual in a worker (in general someone with a daily, money-earning job) or an artist (someone who creates artworks, in general in general a practitioner in the visual arts) is a capitalist, Fordist way of assigning the individual its pre-described role and position within society. The worker mostly subjugated to place and time regimes, is in sharp contrast with the artist who is freed from these constrictions by being 'his own boss'. The artist (the epitome of this idea of self-reliance) has currently served neoliberalism in exemplifying this notion to us all. The artist has become an example for the worker to become an ‘entrepreneur’, to become free and autonomous in making his own decisions, free in dealing with his own ‘personal management’, also as far as income and (in)security is concerned.