(Provisional title) ‘work/ labor’

My art practice explores the field of tension between, on the one hand, art practices with a curatorial character (practices of showing, juxtaposing and connecting) and, on the other hand, art practices that are directly developed within the social fabric. The hypothesis is that although both approaches stand in opposite relationships to the institutional, they show a similar emancipatory desire and formulate a renewed view on the democratic functioning of the political space. Avoiding to make a distinction between the symbolic/linguistic qualities of a work of art and its societal vigour, my work aims to connect the putting on display of (the curating of) and the caring for (the curing of) the public space.

Under the provisional title ‘work/ labor’ I connect five carpentry students from a local vocational school, the two gallerists from the art gallery Transit Mechelen and myself, the artist. I asked the students to fabricate a display-case / box in which different documents that are related to the project (its creative/ economical/ art-historical process) can be showed and stored. One of these documents is a film registration of a performance that took place during the annual open house of the school. The performance consisted of the reading by the students, the gallerists and myself of a theatre dialogue written by a scriptwriter. The script, which presents the negotiations between the students, the gallerists and myself about how profits will be divided in case one of the boxes would be sold, has been discussed and agreed upon by all parties involved.

The work connects and juxtaposes multiple spaces and environments, notably the living environment of the students, the vocational school, the gallery and the Art-Collectors environment, the intimate space of the sculpture, the ephemeral art space etc. It evokes multiple ‘agonistic’ spaces that can be related to radical pedagogies and radical politics.

(Provisional title ‘work/ labor’, 5 wooden boxes, different documents: posters, texts, objects, memory stick/ film. The work is still in progress but will be finished by August 2016)

http://stijnvandorpe.blogspot.be

Discussion (Provisional title) ‘work/ labor’