"Ne travaillez jamais!" #5
Tuesday 11th February 2014, 7pm
  • workshop
  • reading

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"Ne travaillez jamais!" #5 ("Never Work!")
: on a text by Andrea Fraser, "1% Art", L’1%, C’est Moi" in French (first published in Text zur Kunst n°83, September 2011, p. 114-127; text in English). In the January reading workshop we looked at three groups of artists from the 6Os and 70s promoting reform and/or revolution in society through art, a revolution of the art society; now we propose an analysis of the American artist Andrea Fraser’s text and the current school of thought that it embodies, a criticism of the institution. The 1% here refers to the percentage of the population in the United States that holds 40% of the country’s wealth. It is these few fortunes that Andrea Fraser describes, based on specific economic data, as the drivers in the art market (a sector that even 25 years ago was not considered promising for investment) and also as the generous donors for most museums and non-profit organisations. The massive profits that these businessmen have managed to make are largely the result of an “anti-tax” ideology, and these “alternative” places then seem, in some way, like the fruit of this ideology. Where does the artist stand with regards to this paradox? And how can they escape from the art system? The only alternative, says Andrea Fraser, would be to recognise the impossibility of not participating in this economy, to make it the very basis of their artistic practice, make it visible within the institutions themselves. “L’1%, C’est Moi” can also be read and studied as a text written by an artist, not about her work, but as an integral part of her “exercise” and artistic positioning, that allows us to understand new forms of discourse and even new forms of manifestos.

To participate in the workshop and to receive the texts, please contact Clara Gensburger : c.gensburger@leslaboratoires.org

"Ne travaillez jamais!" ("Never Work!") a reading and discussion workshop open to all! While waiting for the Printemps des Laboratoires #2 (May 2014) focusing on the subject of "art and work", we propose a reading group to exchange ideas and come to grips with what is at the core of this rich issue, through monthly sessions and a body of literature supported by other material – texts, objects, films, documents, etc. We could discuss, among other things, the choice that some artists make to orient their practice to immaterial work, processing information and inhabiting social networks. In our reflection we will also include the question of remuneration and what it means, examining the specific cases of artists’ unions, studying the role of the artist as belonging to a capitalist semi-feudal system or occupying an oppressed and marginalized position, and many roles in between.

The meetings take place every second Tuesday of the month. This reading workshop is free and open to all: no specific knowledge is required, only the desire to read and participate to discussions!