Warhol’s Factory of the 1960s, Minimalism’s assembly-line aesthetics, conceptual and feminist concern with workers’ conditions in the 1970s – these are among the antecedents of a renewed focus on the work of art: labour as artistic activity, method and engagement. This anthology explicitly investigates work in relation to contemporary art, surveying artistic strategies that grapple with the complexities of being an art worker in the new economy, a postproducer, a collaborator, a fabricator, a striker, an ethical campaigner, or would-be transformer of labour from oppression to liberation.
Artists surveyed include Pawel Althamer, Francis Alÿs, Marwa Arsanios, Chto Delat, Alice Creischer, Jeremy Deller, Harun Farocki, Claire Fontaine, Andrea Fraser, Liam Gillick, Melanie Gilligan, Gulf Labour Coalition, Goshka Macuga, Annette Messager, Gustav Metzger, Martha Rosler, Tino Sehgal, Santiago Sierra, Artur Zmjiewski.
Writers include Claire Bishop, Luc Boltanski, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Sabeth Buchmann, Kodwo Eshun, Maurizio Lazzarato, Achille Mbembe, Antonio Negri, Jacques Rancière, Dietmar Rübel, Paolo Virno.
Friederike Sigler is a researcher and lecturer at the Hochschule für Bildende Künst, Dresden. She is the author of Work/Strike (2017).
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