12 May – 5 June 2021
No More the Fruit
“Only those who have reflected on their condition will be capable of changing it”
The Right to Be Lazy, Paul Lafargue,1883
In the late 19th century, Marxist revolutionary Paul Lafargue, noted with disdain that the language of desire and leisure had begun to be used to promote labour. Instead, Lafargue advocated the three-hour working day and contemplative leisure, because “only those who have reflected on their condition will be capable of changing it.”
Today’s subjects find little time to plot, let alone organise extraction from the demands of late capitalism whilst living under the burden of a stifling work ethic, expanding workloads and precarity. This exhibition looks back as it thinks forward; wondering on new possibilities for the future. With techno-capitalism on the rise, it speculates beyond automation anxiety – a dominant worry since the advent of the production line. Could a collective political project be the coupling of a work less (rather than a workless) society with the potentially freeing benefits of AI and robotics? A new productive and creative agency, that stretches beyond the logic and limits of extractive capitalism might emerge through contemplative leisure and social organisation, signalling real change in the material world.