Days of Labour, Nights of Leisure, Knoll Galerie, Vienna, AT, 2012 and Budapest, HU, 2013
(curated by Simina Neagu, part of curated by 2012_Art or Life. Effects of Aesthetics and Biopolitics)
group show with Anca Benera&Arnold Estefan (RO), Olga Chernysheva (RU), Berry Patten (UK),
Antje Peters (DE)
How could we envision a break in the endless succession of work and leisure that constitutes our
everyday life? Are we able to identify the ‘lines of flight’ imbedded in the seemingly impenetrable
cycle of daily existence? And ultimately, can we truly escape the “atrophy of experience” induced
by modernity, as Walter Benjamin suggested?
Perhaps contemporary artistic practice could provide an antidote to our impoverished experience
of everydayness, by disrupting the flow of work-leisure and the established regimes of visibility.
Simultaneously a space of platitude and profundity, authenticity and inauthenticity, everyday life
incorporates potentiality, spontaneity and play, which art can help flesh out from this double
dimension of the ordinary. With Michel de Certeau, we can identify the crucial importance of ludic
and subversive modes of appropriation which can foster not necessarily a completely new order,
but rather new ways of living and using the given.
Playful appropriation is also the tactic adopted by most of the artists in the exhibition, as a means
of mirroring and suspending daily experience. Art thus acts as a distorting mirror, de-familiarizing
our own bodies and practices, becoming a space of reflection, a terrain where new modes of
articulation are tested and verified. Whereas other artists choose to use the platform of art as a
zone where the latent conflicts and confusions inherent in everyday life are explored. Ingrained
inconsistencies are brought to light in an attempt to resolve them. What emerges is a praxis or
more accurately put, a re-articulation of the ordinary, not the common equations of “art=life” or
“art+life”, but rather an art of life.