press release

Matadero Madrid’s Nave 16 presents Our Work is Never Over, a collective exhibition curated by Yael Messer that takes place within the context of PHotoEspaña 2012: From here. Context and internationalization. Yael Messer (b. 1982 in Israel, lives and works in Amsterdam) held a curatorial research fellowship at Matadero Madrid in November 2011, a period during which she shaped the concept of this show.

In 1978, artist Mladen Stilinović documented himself through a series of photos in which he is lying in bed, doing nothing. Stilinović entitled the piece Artist at Work, to question the seeming separation between life, art, and labor. As an action and an anti-action at the same time, the work initially aimed to challenge the symbolic power of labor under the communist regime. The advent of the precarious post-Fordist society in the last 20 years with its heavy reliance on flexible, creative, and immaterial labor transforms the issues raised by Stilinović into ones that are exceptionally urgent today.

This urgency is the point of departure for the exhibition Our Work is Never Over, which features works from artists who are constantly exploring where art, labor, and everyday existence overlap in contemporary society. This group of artists reflects on the immateriality of the artistic process, the role of labor in designating social life, and the complexity of representing invisible work.

The artists participating in the exhibition choose to reflect on the totality of their bio-political existence from within and through life itself: some document their everyday life and use this documentation as an artistic work, others frame their artistic acts as identical to any other form of labor, and a few make the gray area between artistic process and immaterial labor part of their own life.

Participating artists Mounira Al Solh, Joana Bastos , C.A.S.I.T.A, Guy Ben Ner, Tehching Hsieh, David Levine, Ahmet Ögüt, Levi Orta, Mladen Stilinović, Pilvi Takala, and Werker (Marc Roig Blesa & Rogier Delfos).

only in german

Our Work is Never Over
Kurator: Yael Messer

Künstler: Mounira Al Solh, Joana Bastos , C.A.S.I.T.A , Guy Ben-Ner, Tehching Hsieh, David Levine, Ahmet Ogut, Levi Orta, Mladen Stilinovic, Pilvi Takala, Werker  (Marc Roig Blesa & Rogier Delfos).