The Working Life

WHEN : 31st May - 26th July
WHERE : Institute of Modern Art

Featuring works by Richard Bell, Andrea Fraser, Marianne Flotron, Melanie Gilligan, Jesse Jones, Darius Mikšys, Stuart Ringholt, and Superflex.

Representations of labour have a long tradition in art; and anxiety, fear and terror equally so. In the years since the 2008 global financial crisis, many artists have showed a renewed interest in examining the relationship between personal calamities and social catastrophes, employing different forms of therapy as tools for reframing perceptions of ourselves and our surroundings.

Foregrounding film, video, and performance, The Working Life borrows its title from a piece by Copenhagen-based artist collective Superflex, and features works made post-global financial crisis by eight Australian and international artists, curated by IMA’s Directors Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh. The exhibition addresses a broad affective and political spectrum, providing space both for hands-on audience engagement, such as in Melbourne-based Stuart Ringholt’s Anger Workshops (2008-ongoing), and time for contemplation and introspection, as in New York and Los Angeles-based Andrea Fraser’s self-scrutinisingProjection (2008). Artists in the show explore a world in perpetual upheaval, and, in the case of Superflex’s hypnotherapy video The Working Life (2013), ways of leaving it all behind.