press release

work [wз:k] Gaeilge: obair French: travail German: Arbeit Russian: trud, rabota Chinese: laodong Croatian: posao, rad Lingala: mosala Swedish: arbete Danish: arbejde

There will also be an extensive programme of events and lectures exploring issues arising from the exhibition running throughout June, July and August.

The Lewis Glucksman Gallery presents the exhibition work [wз:k] in collaboration with the Galerie im Taxispalais Innsbruck, Austria, curated by Dr. Silvia Eiblmayr, Verina Gfader and Tereza Kotyk.

The exhibition includes artistic work from the 1970 to the present day by more than 30 international artists. It examines different aspects of work such as globalisation, gender relations, migration, industrial action and working conditions. The theme of work and labour is a very relevant and topical issue in Ireland at the moment. As a country that has undergone many d rama tic changes, economically, environmentally, socially and culturally, Ireland is now known for its growing economy and employment opportunities. Numerous new identities from many parts of Europe, Asia and Africa are currently residing and working in Ireland . Many Iris h emigrants have returned home from the US, Australia and the UK, to take advantage of Ireland's much-improved financial position. In moving, many of these different groups have experienced a sense of displacement and dislocation, which consequently raises questions about the impact work has on identity and place.

Since the Industrial Revolution, the theme of work and labour has been an important focus of the visual arts. The exhibition work [wз:k] examines this theme over the past four decades referring to changing contexts from the political movements of the 1960s and 1970s to issues of globalisation that shape our current economic climate.

Most of the historical works within the exhibition reflect the political movements of the 1960s and 1970s from the perspectives of a left and feminist critique of ideology and society. Work as a social activity (André Gorz) is revealed to be a social construct and critically interpreted as such. Artists react to the changing working conditions taking place in this period. In the USA, for instance, Martha Rosler studies the dress rules for waitresses and Mierle Laderman Ukeles cleans the steps of the main entrance to a museum in Hartford, Connecticut. Conrad Atkinson addresses the theme of “garbage strikes” and Margaret Harrison fights for the interests of British homeworkers.

Globalisation and the concomitant phenomenon of migration have contributed to a development of blurring the social notion of work. Gainful employment has been devalued in the western industrial nations as a result of the outsourcing of entire industrial sectors in “low-wage countries”. It has been replaced by often precarious working conditions in the service sector with often much lower pay. Moreover, this development has led to new forms of work such as tele-work/homework, part-time work, etc. on the one hand and to “network societies” on the other, which result in a change of the understanding of work. “The flexible individual is often unable to draw a clear line between everyday life and work life”. (Richard Sennett)

Part-time work, tele/home work, sex work, women's work, “foreign workers” as well as unemployment and strikes are thus themes that have increasingly become the focus of artistic work since the 1980s. Paul Graham photographs crowded labour office s in England. Ursula Biemann follows the worldwide migration of women to the sex industry. Michael Blum makes an effort to visit one of the Indonesian factories where his world logo sneakers are being produced. Olga Chernysheva offers an image of the hierarchy in a Russian chocolate factory. Mladen Stilinovic comments in a melancholy and ironic way on the postcommunist situation in Croatia. Harun Farocki traces the motif of “workers leaving the factory” which has been documented in film since the Lumière brothers. Pia Lanzinger is furnishing a tele-home work place and Moira Zoitl offers a typical representation of thousands of Philippine maids in Hongkong.

An accompanying catalogue (German / English) is available: Ed. Silvia Eiblmayr, Galerie im Taxispalais Texts by Katy Deepwell, André Gorz, Barbara Hundegger, Karin Jaschke, Sylvia Riedmann, Saskia Sassen; introduction by Silvia Eiblmayr, Verina Gfader and Tereza Kotyk. 208 pp., b/w and full colour images.

The exhibition work [wз:k] features: Robert Adrian X (CDN/A), Conrad Atkinson (UK), Ursula Biemann (CH), Berwick Street Film Collective (UK), Michael Blum (F/IL), Olga Chernysheva (RUS), Carole Condé / Karl Beveridge (CDN), Harun Farocki (D), Martin Gostner (A), Paul Graham (UK), Margaret Harrison (UK), Lulu Shur-Tzy Hou (Taiwan), Alexis Hunter (UK), -Innen plus (Korinna Knoll, Ellen Nonnenmacher, Susanne Ackers, Janine Sack and Cornelia Sollfrank) (D), Kirsten Justesen (DK), Margareta Klingberg (S), Richard Kriesche (A), Mierle Laderman Ukeles (USA), Pia Lanzinger (D), Marion von Osten/ Pauline Boudry (D), Adrian Paci (AL), Christine S. Prantauer (A), Martha Rosler (USA), Monica Ross with Shirley Cameron and Evelyn Silver (UK), Mladen Stilinovic (HR), Anne Tallentire (UK), Jeff Wall (CDN), Carey Young (UK), Moira Zoitl (A).

With kind support from the Austrian Embassy Dublin.


work [wз:k]
Aspects of work in art from 1970 to present

mit Robert Adrian X, Conrad Atkinson, Ursula Biemann, Berwick Street Film Collective, Michael Blum, Olga Chernysheva, Carole Conde / Karl Beveridge, Harun Farocki, Martin Gostner, Paul Graham, Margaret Harrison, Lulu Shur-Tzy Hou, Alexis Hunter, Innen plus (Korinna Knoll, Ellen Nonnenmacher, Susanne Ackers, Janine Sack, Cornelia Sollfrank), Kirsten Justesen, Margareta Klingberg, Richard Kriesche, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Pia Lanzinger, Marion von Osten/ Pauline Boudry, Adrian Paci, Christine S. Prantauer, Martha Rosler, Monica Ross / Shirley Cameron / Evelyn Silver, Mladen Stilinovic, Anne Tallentire, Jeff Wall, Carey Young, Moira Zoitl