Chapter five : 

Fully Worktioning

MAY.26. – JUL.29.2023

WITH WORKS BY Rinus Van de Velde, Alexis Gautier and Harriet Rose Morley

Fri.26.05.23 - 19:00-23:00
During Hoogtij, Contemporary Art Tour

Harriet Rose Morley is a multi-disciplinary artist, maker, educator and facilitator. Hard Work, Soft Work is an ongoing body of work using construction, collective tool making, and workwear, to research feminist collective working methodologies through the lens of technical craft-based pedagogy and production-based labour within the arts. Resilient but delicate, a permeable barrier simultaneously acknowledging its inherent fragility, the gate-like structure installed with The Balcony acts as a structural division within the gallery, transitioning the exhibition space towards the working space.

The gate acts as a tool, instigating dialogues towards process, access, function and use within technical workspaces, exploring the intersection between art and labour, thinking about the hard work (the technical labour involved and learned through building) and the soft work (the relationships built in the making) and the potential of technical craft-based pedagogy, an ode to strength and resilience of workers.

Rinus Van de Velde’s framed drawing comes from a private collection, showing the artist’s studio at work and the expected shipping of the canvases to the exhibition. The work is highly tautological and expresses, among other things, the brutality of labour involved in producing exhibitions. It also illustrates the absence of the artist after the creative part is completed, when logsitics and cultural management takes over: the works leaving the studio.

Alexis Gautier’s work is often created in dialogue with other people. Starting from an interest in cultural transactions, he focuses on exchange, coincidence and the thin line between fact and fiction. Encounters, discoveries or misunderstandings thus form a creative space within which his work emerges in a collective context. The research process is documented in sculptures, video, textiles and performances, all reflecting on the notion of exchange and value, as well as on authorship and the protocols of exhibition-making.

Discourses around production and consumption in contemporary capitalist scenarios are so entangled that the terms Prosumption and Prosumer are today commonly used to describe the condition in which subjects of capitalism find themselves, “especially in light of the explosion of user-generated online content—abundance over scarcity, and a rise in exploitation and unpaid labour”. (George Ritzer And Nathan Jurgenson, Journal of Consumer Culture).

The exhibition Fully Worktioning binds the idea of working with that of being functional, functioning as a member of society at large and as a realised individual, who navigates the myth of the self-made in the late capitalist landscape. In this particular case the exhibition looks at the brutality of labor involved in running a studio practice, and also the collaborative involvments of a solo-called individual practice.

The Balcony is curated by Arthur Cordier and Valentino Russo. The title originates from a conversation with graphic designer Soma Wonglamdab.

The exhibition is supported by Stroom Den Haag, Stefan Bandalac (SBAE) and the Mondriaan Fonds. Visual identity is by Pavlo Radich and Julia Waraksa from STAATSDUET.  Members of the initiative support the programme on a voluntary basis, and your support is appreciated.