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Be it by excess or default, we could all recognise that we end up dreaming or, even, thinking in bed about this “work” / research / curiosity / collaboration / on the whole poorly paid, that occupies a large part of our time. It’s so be it whether we consider this work creative, productive, thrilling, purely for sustenance, or just loathsome.
For this, and for the fact that two of the main international artistic events of this year tackle these subjects – in a more or less direct way – it seemed a question we needed to consider. Moreover, tradition has it in this country that September marks the return to the daily routine after a forced holiday break, the moment of “re”incorporation which arrives every year with articles about post-vacation depression, re-adapting to work, and its effects on productivity. Blah, blah, blah.
We began with a reflection from a broad perspective, with Marx invited, a text (“Contemporary Prisoners” in which Montse Badia, in the form of a derive, stopped and considered artists and thinkers who had reflected on the subject, such as; Harun Farocki, Beatriz Colomina, Ciprian Homorodean and Mladen Stilinovic, amongst others.
“What people do for money? was the suggestive title that structured Manifesta 11, curated by the artist Christian Jankowski, who Uta Reindl interviewed for A*DESK to talk about the whys and wherefores, the weak points, as well as the virtues of this edition.
And without abandoning the interview format, María Muñoz and Pilar Bonet talked to Marco Roso, a member of the DIS collective, about the present edition of the Berlin Biennale, titled “The Present in Drag”. A constructive conversation complemented with an intense, moving stroll through the Biennale in the form of a text, at the hands of a very lucid Martí Manen.
On her part, Marina Vives brought to a close the subject, which has as much to do with analysis as with foresight, with a critique of Andrea Fraser at MACBA. Or, better still, a critique of the retrospective exhibition the institution dedicated to the artist of institutional critique (which is still on for the first few days of October), in which she goes on to reflect on the world of work of Raquel Friera and how, in some way or other, we are all involved in it.
"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)