Work Ethic

Work Ethic

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During the 1960s, artists from Alan Kaprow and Yoko Ono to Andy Warhol and Richard Serra stopped making qartq as it has been thought of since the Renaissance. They staged performances that mixed everyday life with theater and in yet other, often ironic, ways challenged the system of marketing, display, and aesthetic discourse that ascribes exceptional monetary as well as cultural value to paintings and sculpture.Work Ethic, published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name organized by The Baltimore Museum of Art, brings together a cross section of such radical endeavors and opens a fresh perspective on their genesis and meaning. Most of the avant-garde interventions considered in Work Ethic entailed performances and other procedures generally interpreted as linking a qdematerializationq of the object with the free play of concepts. By contrast, Helen Molesworth and her collaborators in Work Ethic set such activities in the context of the workplace and contend that they engage issues of management, production, and skill that accompanied the emergence of the information age. The result is a major breakthrough in understanding the structures and ambitions of a wide range of art-making.Work Ethic reproduces all the diverse materiala€”Bruce Nauman videotapes to Roxy Paine's painting machinea€”in the Baltimore exhibition and provides insightful discussion of each piece's history, structure, and significance. Four essays introduce topics, like utopian fantasies of pleasurable work, that are of general relevance to setting the material into a postindustrial context. Throughout this catalogue, there is as well a lively dialogue on the museum's relationship to art that questions the rules of both the workplace and the art world. The exhibition, qWork Ethic, q will be at The Baltimore Museum of Art from October 12, 2003, to January 11, 2004, and at the Des Moines Center for the Arts from May 15 to August 1, 2004.Examines the proliferation of new ways of making aquot;artaquot; in the 1960s by focusing on the changed organization of work in society at the time. Co-published with The Baltimore Museum of Art in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name.

Title:Work Ethic
Author:Helen Anne Molesworth, M. Darsie Alexander, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Baltimore Museum of Art, Des Moines Art Center, Wexner Center for the Arts
Publisher:Penn State Press - 2003


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