PART TIME COMMITMENT SERIES – Prologue: What does work mean at the end of the day?
Angela Anderson & Ana Hoffner ex-Prvulovic*, Brigitte Dätwyler, Monique S. Desto, Paula Hurtado Otero, Lena Maria Thüring, Anna Witt
Starting in March 2023 under the title PART TIME COMMITMENT SERIES, various formats will take place in the Lothringer 13 Halle that negotiate the socio-political impact of the model of full-time employment along the concept of the division of labor and tell about divergent realities of precarious, unpaid, part-time and multiple jobs. The works in the international group exhibition What does work mean at the end of the day? address how we define, organise, allocate, assign and reward labour as a society. On the one hand, the contributions open up a wide field of different spheres of activity, on the other hand they point to parallels and connections between supposedly autonomous spheres.
The artistic contributions unite the voices of paid and unpaid domestic workers, seasonal workers, industrial workers, service providers and cultural producers. Developments such as domestic and agricultural work increasingly performed by migrant workers on the one hand, the decline of human labour in automated industrial production on the other, and deeply internalised paradigms of optimised work and life environments are related to specific examples: What does work mean for everyone personally? How does financial dependence on wage labour affect life plans and biographies? How closely are professional activity and self- identification linked? How do experiences of flight, violence and trauma get inscribed in professional careers? Where are the confines between self-determination and coercion, securing subsistence and the promise of success, obligation and ambition?
In many-voiced narratives, the close network of relationships between identity and employment biography becomes tangible – unequally distributed on the axes of dependencies, crises, precariousness and exploitation on the one hand, security, social recognition and self- realisation on the other. Work in capitalism is thematised in its effects on individuals as well as on the ecosystem shared by all. In the background, therefore, runs the question of a sustainable economic and social model in which performance is not the only indicator of the value of people.