“Apparently I lack some particular perversion which today’s employer is seeking”*…
The second floor of Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery currently greets patrons with an empty conveyor belt moving through, and back around, a giant mirror.
“Contemporary capitalism trades in nonexistence,” Agnieszka Kurant, the artist behind the piece, told ArtForum in 2013. “Seventy percent of money in this world is phantom—it exists virtually, on computers—but still produces physical consequences.” Much the same tone is at play in Kurant’s contribution to Overtime: The Art of Work, a new collection of artwork that examines the struggles of laborers across nations and eras.
From paintings of child workers in 18th century England to 3-D printed limbs of contract workers in 21st century America, the show is relentlessly engaging…
Learn more about– and see more of– the exhibit at “Art That Understands What It’s Like to Work.”
* John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
As we whistle, we might send radically provocative birthday greetings to Kathy Acker; she was born on this date in 1947. An experimental novelist, punk poet, playwright, performance artist, essayist, postmodernist, and feminist writer, she was a prolific creator who was formative influence on dozens of younger writers, and on Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and Kim Gordon, co-founder of Sonic Youth.
In 1996, Acker was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent a double mastectomy. The surgery was unsuccessful, and following year, she undertook a series of alternative therapies. She died, in November of 1997, in an alternative cancer clinic in Tijuana, Mexico. She died in Room 101, to which her friend Alan Moore quipped, “There’s nothing that woman can’t turn into a literary reference.”
Reason is always in the service of the political and economic masters. It is here that literature strikes, at this base, where the concepts and actings of order impose themselves. Literature is that which denounces and slashes apart the repressing machine at the level of the signified.
– Kathy Acker, Empire of the Senseless (1988)