The exhibition was selected through the annual Curatorial Open Call organized by metamatic:taf for the fifth consecutive year addressing young curators under 35 years old, giving them the opportunity to propose a group contemporary art exhibition and implement it in metamatic:taf’ gallery.
The group show kontratω: for it had turned to gold in his hand, explores the politics of working for the arts, through the work of seven artists, along with an interactive archive room. Informed by the Greek myth in which Midas, picks an apple and to his discomfort it turns into gold leaving him hungry - kontratω tells the story of the art workers and their artworks.
Measuring work in a post-Fordist ‘art-factory’ scenario can be slippery, as production of labour is inseparable from activity itself. Art work is integrated in a system designed to produce blockbuster exhibitions by circulating digital and printed press releases, and dealing cultural assets, dependent on the artist’s level of ‘achievements’ listed in a 100-word bio written by a no-more-than-ten-quid-a-day-travel-expenses-paid intern. What is the functionality of working for systems designed to blur work and non-work time, and where are the less visible sides of the art workers’ discontinuous and complex biography? Account books, P45’s, freelance tax returns, payslips, and copyright policies. What contract has the employee of culture signed, and with whom?
The exhibition vocalizes the artworkers’ socio-economical bond with the ‘art factory’, and resonates a collective multitude of critical voices questioning whether given infrastructures indeed have no alternative.
Participating artists: Mariana Bisti, David Blackmore, Sara Borga, Pil and Galia Kollectiv,Richard Müller, Saul Williams and Marina Xenofontos