Nojus Drąsutis, The Pool Cleaners, Vilnius 2017 / aus: Antje Ehmann, Harun Farocki, Eine Einstellung zur Arbeit / Labour in a Single Shot, 2011 / Video still
24/7: Work between meaning and imbalance
May 1, 2024 – Jan 19, 2025
Kunsthaus Graz
Graz, Austria

Yet despite the apparent freedom from rigid structures and time cards, many employees continue to struggle for fair conditions. Invisible work such as unpaid housework or care work, frequently carried out by women, is also a social problem at present and shows the need to address inequalities and exploitation. The struggle for higher wages now faces such terms as New Work, 4-day week and work-life balance. Are these just hollow phrases or realistic demands in a time of maximum stress?

Work is not just to be considered from the economic viewpoint, however; it can and should be a source of meaning and fulfilment, too. In modern-day consumerist society, in which people are focused on material possessions, work has turned into a mere means to an end, to enable consumption; yet a society in which work is no longer the central element in life could allow people more time for personal development, cultural activities and creative expression.

In a not-too-distant future, such technologies as AI and automation will continue to change the world of work and bring with them new challenges. These will once again necessitate both social and political discourse.

The exhibition examines the often precarious aspects of artistic and cultural work, posing questions about the blurring of boundaries between letting oneself be exploited and self-realisation. One part of the exhibition space is available for new productions and performative art projects, which will allow the exhibition to grow as it runs.

Parallel to the exhibition at the Kunsthaus Graz, the History Museum, in an exhibition titled It’s All Work, draws on historic press photographs from the Foto Blaschka agency to tell of the imbalance in the world of work and the massive inequalities between the sexes still existing today. A new artistic production based on the Blaschka Photo Archive will be on show in both exhibitions. A new artistic production based on the Blaschka Photo Archive will be on show in both exhibitions.

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