RAGPICKERS GANG invites current interns, volunteers and casual workers to participate in RAGPICKERS ASSEMBLY, a collective project that is dedicated to the problems of unpaid labour and exploitation in the contemporary art field.
RAGPICKERS ASSEMBLY aims to blur the difference between the artistic and forensic by taking the format of a quasi-exhibition. As such it is meant to display ‘artefacts’—be it material traces, residues or recorded testimonies—supplied by unpaid interns that testify to the tasks they have to undertake within art organisations. All the materials in the exhibition will be shown in a manner similar to a typical gallery display and are ‘curated’ by the participants.
Employing the strategy ‘fight-enemy-with-its-own-weapon’, the project aims to raise a wider public awareness and draw media attention to the exploitation and discrepancies that lie at the core of the current state of the art system. Simultaneously, it would become a space of exchange of personal experience, ideas, and knowledge between art world participants united by a desire to fight for their own rights and to dissent from what has become a modus operandi.
We look forward to receiving your submissions that may include both physical items and information, which are intended to be shown under traditional categories such as art objects, video/sound art, installation, artistic research, documentary, etc.:
1. Forensic evidence: anything left from (de)installation of a gallery show or a private view: crumbled walls, empty bottles, etc.
2. Testimonies of immaterial labour: photocopies, shredded papers, files, CVs, schedules press-releases, artists files, databases, invoices, etc.
3. Audio, visual, photo or written documentation of day-to-day assistance in running a gallery space.
4. Art ‘gossip’: anything ‘important’ that you might hear at an opening or in the office.
5. You can also fill our mock application forms where you can state your real qualification, experience and goals.
Please send us an email indicating what material you would like to show and we would arrange a meeting to collect it or record your testimony. If you have any ideas or questions, please, do not hesitate to contact Ragpickers at this e-mail:
Ragpickers Gang is a London-based collective platform that unites people who share a strong feeling of dissent and dissatisfaction with the exploitation, hypocrisy and corruption in the contemporary art sector. We name ourselves ‘ragpickers’ because it represents our social and professional position: a multitude of recent unemployed graduates. We are ‘drop-outs’ and ‘outcasts’ of the art world who have to do some unpaid though ungrateful job during our free time and find money to sustain our living.
We are a unanimous group and we are open to new participants who sympathize with our ideas.
Mark Knopfler, “Ragpicker’s Dream”