Anti-age capitalism tells us that old age is something we ought to fight against, eliminate, or at least conceal. We get old and are stowed away somewhere where productive society no longer has to see us, in more or less luxurious storage facilities. Elderly care—a series of arduous maintenance jobs—is shuffled off onto precariously employed workers.
Elderly care workers possess knowledge about being old and ageing that frequently remains invisible and vanishes from social awareness. In their daily bodily and interpersonal interactions with the elderly, they are obliged to strike a balance between efficiency and people’s needs: when bathing someone, helping them get out of bed and get dressed, conversing with them, touching their shoulder.
For two years, artist Lola Arias interviewed care workers, sociologists, city planners, gerontologists, and older people on the topics of age and care, multi-generational housing projects, and age and sexuality. The result of this research was the theatrical production Ich bin nicht tot (I’m not dead) and the short film Far Away From Russia. This exhibition is centred around a futuristic instructional film, in which carers and elderly people demonstrate their everyday routines—a choreography of the relationships between caregivers and the people who need care.