Daily Archives: December 8, 2008

/unvermittelt: For a Concept of Labor Beyond Overwork and Lack of Work

/unvermittelt
www.unvermittelt.net

…for a concept of labor beyond overwork and lack of work

Participants: Absageagentur, bankleer, Bildwechsel, Chto Delat, Chor der Tätigen, city mine(d), Die Heilige Kirche der letzten drei Arbeitstage, G-bliss productions, Sascha Göttling, Institut für Primär-energieforschung, Kiez ->To Go, m7red, Karin Michalski/Renate Lorenz, Netzwerk Grund-einkommen, Private Emission Trade, Sabotage-agentur, unhaltbar/leere Versprechungen, UNWETTER, Malte Wilms, Zene na delu—and the NGBK unvermittelt project group: Danijela Cenan, Uli Ertl, Frauke Hehl, Rut Waldeyer and Nadine Wothe.

demo_micronomics1About 50 activists, initiatives, artists, theorists and opinion leaders from throughout the world have been invited to redefine the concepts of work and of being active under the motto “practice, method, scope.” The project began in January 2008 with a series of lectures and workshops. Since August, a number of interventions have taken place in Berlin public space. From 13 December, the participants will be showing what they understand by a collaborative and mutually supportive space to think, explore the scope of possibilities, and act, in the exhibition space at NGBK. 

The exhibition presents both the processes involved—workshops, campaigns, radio and film productions, artists’ actions and political interventions in urban space, as well as the results—films, posters, songs and other acoustic works, sculptures and documentary material.

/unvermittelt will be accompanied by a publication in German. ISBN: 978-3-938515-21-1.

At the evening opening at NGBK the Chor der Tätigen will be singing pop-songs on the topic of work together with Judiths Krise. 

/unvermittelt is a project of the New Society for Visual Arts, its patron is Berlin’s Senator for Integration, Labour and Social Issues Dr. Knake-Werner.

Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst e.V
Oranienstrasse 25 ⁄ 10999 Berlin
13 December 2008—1 February 2009
Opening: 12 December, 7:00 p.m.

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Filed under activism, art exhibitions, contemporary art, urban movements (right to the city)

Workers Occupy Plant in Chicago

Angry laid-off workers occupy factory in Chicago

cat_largeuebuttonUpdates on the campaign from UE (United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America), the union that represents the workers at the Republic Windows and Doors plant.

And here is a good post on the occupation from the Labor Is Not a Commodity blog.

You can sign a petition in support of the workers here.

There is power in a union!

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Filed under international affairs, trade unions

An Open Letter on the 2008 Kandinsky Prize

An Open Letter on the 2008 Kandinsky Prize

121170281We admit it upfront: we don’t care much for the artist Alexei Belyaev (Guintovt), and we don’t care about him. His art is beyond the pale of criticism, and we have never had any illusions about his political views. By the mid-1990s, he had already drifted into the orbit of Eduard Limonov’s National Bolsheviks, and he would later join Alexander Dugin’s breakaway Eurasian Movement. You do not have to be a political scientist to recognize these people for what they are: part of a reactionary global trend toward ultra-right/ultra-left nationalism. Belyaev’s statements and artworks reflect this political identity. His work glorifies violence, imperial domination, blood, soil, and war. It does this in a consciously triumphal neo-Stalinist aesthetic, mixing crimson with gold leaf to confirm its redundant imperialist messages. Some members of the local bourgeoisie are taken with this aesthetic. Fascism thus enters the salon—a salon we would rather ignore.

We thus have no vested interest in criticizing the Kandinsky Prize. Founded on the cusp of the recent Russian art boom, this $50,000 award (with its longlist show of sixty artists) is a contemporary version of the salon, the institution that has defined art throughout the bourgeois age. Initiated by the glossy art magazine ArtKhronika, supported by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and sponsored by Deutsche Bank, the Kandinsky Prize is clearly yet another neoliberal franchise, easiest to promote with a servile, aggressively populist local contingent. Its first edition eared at least some credibility by supporting the beleaguered curator Andrei Yerofeyev and giving its top award to activist-turned-formalist Anatoly Osmolovsky. But now, as the overall socio-political situation shows signs of changing for the worse, the divided jury of the Kandinsky Prize has decided to include Belyaev in the short list of its “Artist of the Year” nomination. Belyaev, however, is a crypto-fascist. The liberal press immediately picked up this scandal. Such scandals in the salon always play into the hands of the artist, his gallery, his admirers, and the critics. Most importantly, they promote the political views of these people. We do not share the rosy liberal illusion that the free market and the circulation of capital can fully convert any kind of engaged art, that artists like Belyaev tame and defuse potentially dangerous ideologies. Instead, the market makes them fashionable among the salon’s novelty-loving clientele in a mutated, glamorous form. Continue reading

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Filed under activism, anti-racism, anti-fascism, contemporary art, open letters, manifestos, appeals, racism, nationalism, fascism, Russian society