Days of Labour, Nights of Leisure.
Art as the disruption of everyday life
How could we envision a break in the endless succession of work and leisure that constitutes our everyday life? Are we able to identify the ‘lines of flight’ imbedded in the seemingly impenetrable cycle of daily existence? And ultimately, can we truly escape the “atrophy of experience” induced by modernity, as Walter Benjamin suggested?
"A re-articulation of the ordinary, not the common equations of “art=life” or “art+life”, but rather an art of life."
Perhaps contemporary artistic practice could provide an antidote to our impoverished experience of everydayness, by disrupting the flow of work-leisure and the established regimes of visibility. Simultaneously a space of platitude and profundity, authenticity and inauthenticity, everyday life incorporates potentiality, spontaneity and play, which art can help flesh out from this double dimension of the ordinary. With Michel de Certeau, we can identify the crucial importance of ludic and subversive modes of appropriation which can foster not necessarily a completely new order, but rather new ways of living and using the given.
Playful appropriation is also the tactic adopted by most of the artists in the exhibition, as a means of mirroring and suspending daily experience. Art thus acts as a distorting mirror, de-familiarizing our own bodies and practices, becoming a space of reflection, a terrain where new modes of articulation are tested and verified. Whereas other artists choose to use the platform of art as a zone where the latent conflicts and confusions inherent in everyday life are explored. Ingrained inconsistencies are brought to light in an attempt to resolve them. What emerges is a praxis or more accurately put, a re-articulation of the ordinary, not the common equations of “art=life” or “art+life”, but rather an art of life.
Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan
Simina Neagu (b. 1988) has been working as Assistant Director at Pavilion UniCredit center for contemporary art and culture, and the Pavilion journal for politics and culture and Bucharest Biennale.