Four symposia, so-called ›learning spaces‹, turn the spotlight on critical issues arising from the underlying principles, methods and ethics of work in the arts and cultural sector, and of activism in the arts context. Guests and other participants pursue in-depth exchange in a participatory and non-hierarchical setting.
Past nGbK projects serve as a springboard for discussion of collective, artistic and activist strategies that are fit for the future. Participants are welcome to put up for debate their own project proposals and methodologies. Members tell of past experiences and experts analyse nGbK projects in order to reassess the work of, and at, the nGbK, in the broader context of politics and the arts.
›Work‹ is a recurring topic at the nGbK: in structural terms – the association operates as a collective – as well as in the projects of the last fifty years. Mirrored here is the shifting interaction of art and work: art is work, even though the two are sometimes seen as polar opposites. Cooperation in project groups and the ensuing shared authorships influence the content of the projects and, above all, their political articulation, as does the question of whether solidarity with workers’ struggles is a feasible option for the arts and cultural sector.
The vast variety of concepts of work and working methods and decision-making processes are collectively considered in this learning space. Which forms of self-organised work are pursued in project groups today? How is artistic work under neoliberalism related to so-called immaterial work? Which power structures does the project-group structure of the nGbK break down, and which does it perpetuate? Are workers’ struggles still the key to political mobilisation?
›Work‹ has been addressed in numerous nGbK projects, to various ends. While examined in the 1970s mainly in relation to the working class, this schema soon came in for a critique informed by personal experience, from a feminist perspective or, equally, that of artists and cultural activists engaged often in precarious labour. Questions of immaterial and post-Fordist work were taken up, along with issues such as unemployment or the division of housework, including (unpaid) care work. How visible is the feminist critique of an orthodox Marxist reading of work in the nGbK today? Beginning with these questions and in reference to nGbK projects – »DIE IRREGULÄREN/ THE IRREGULARS. Economies of Deviation« (2013), »Tätig Sein« (2004), »Faktor Arbeit«, »Unbeachtete Produktionsformen« (1982) – and theoretical debates, past and present, the future work of the association will be collectively discussed, and potential methods and approaches be considered.
With contributions from Anna Bromley, Christian Hanussek, Jula Dech, Peter Funken, Marion von Osten and Ildikó Szántó, among others
The exhibition part of the project »50 Jahre neue Gesellschaft« runs at the nGbK from 22 June to 4 August 2019.
The other learning spaces are SOLIDARITY (23 June) RESEARCH (6 July) DESIRE (3 Aug)
nGbK project group: Christian Hanussek, Ulrike Jordan, Hannah Kruse, Vincent Schier, Olga von Schubert, Eylem Sengezer, Anna Voswinckel