The Hanging: Art / Work at Kudos Gallery
May 20th 2016
Imagine, for a moment, your classic arts worker. They’re wearing all black, they refer to work as a ‘love job’, and their ‘office’ is anywhere they can open a laptop and connect to the internet.
If you are sending emails from your bed at midnight on a Sunday, does that count as work? And if so, how is it valued?
The current exhibition Art / Work at Kudos Gallery explores the nature of working in the arts in 2016 from every possible angle.
There are works that look quiet literally at the physical labor of making art – like in Dara Gill’s video work ‘To Roll’ where he literally and metaphorically transforms a lump of clay into an artwork by rolling in back and forth along his studio floor.
On the flip side JD’s performance focuses on the invisible labor of art. Drawing attention to the hours in the studio, material costs and self-promotion that are all essential but often forgotten when we think about an artists work. In his performance opening night JD was hidden from the public as he mined along to ‘Work’ By Rhianna and broadcasted it through Snapchat.
Yep, Snapchat – there is no doubt that this exhibition is very ‘2016’. Like the artist Cooper Michael who is the auctioning of art and non-art objects on Ebay- in a way of exploring the shifting value of art works.
But the arts economy is not limited to exchange of cash monies – no conversation of the arts would be complete without touching on the favor economy or when we provide our labor to gain experience. So in this show Mitch Cumming agreed to present work in exchange for promotion of an exhibition at Knulp gallery that is on at the same time. It’s the ‘in kind’ industry we know so well.
But, this is only the tip of the iceberg. As you can tell by curator Anna May Kirk’s extensive catalogue essay that exhibition goes way deeper – beyond basic economics and into the anxieties that surround artists ‘work’.
Don’t expect your traditional paintings on walls and sculptures on plinths – this is all about the arts economy and comes complete with a merch stand from 110%. After the recent cuts to arts funding this exhibition is here to remind you – we need to work for our art.
Art / Work at Kudos Gallery until the 28th May.