Patrik Aarnivaara, Goldin+Senneby, KpD kleines postfordistisches Drama ( Brigitta Kuster, Isabell Lorey, Katja Reichard, Marion von Osten), Isabelle Pauwels, Eglé Rakauskaité, Johan Svensson, Anna Wessman

28 September–4 November 2007
Opening Friday 28 September 7-9pm

Almost exactly one year ago a new government was elected in Sweden and the political tendency swung for left to right. In the light of this shift it is interesting to look more closely at one of the hottest political issues, namely that of work. The exhibition TWENTYFOURSEVEN takes a closer look at various aspects of work today and of how contemporary society relates to such matters as welfare, labour and freedom of choice and how this is reflected in various views regarding citizen’s rights and obligations.

The title of the exhibition, TWENTYFOURSEVEN, is used here to describe the duality in the growing access to goods and services that is increasingly part of our everyday lives. This access introduces greater flexibility regarding when we can work and when we can consume but what is the price of this and who pays?

Currently we are increasingly approaching an attitude that rejects the paid employment of industrial capitalism with its definition of work as something that one has or does not have, in favour of defining work as something that we do. In this situation, the entrepreneur becomes the ultimate model with a working situation characterized by constant availability, flexibility and personal motivation, a situation that is considered in Kamera Läuft! (2004) made by kpD – kleines postfordistisches Drama in which the entrepreneur-like working situation of people in the arts is problematized. The increasingly diffuse boundary between work and leisure is also dealt with in Goldin+Senneby’s work Teambuilding in the Great Nature Theater (2007) which builds on a contemporary corporate strategy that seeks to include “life in its entirety” in the productive sphere through internal harmony and entertainment.

Isabelle Pauwels and Patrik Aarnivaara’s work takes its point of departure from economic structures that presuppose choice. In her Eddie (2005) Pauwels draws a parallel between the law of commerce and the division of power in a sexual relationship. Aarnivaara, in turn, investigates whether it is possible to assume an ideological standpoint by applying liberal market parameters to artistic work in *1 (2007).

In Anna Wessman’s series of drawings Då när nu var framtid (Then when now was future) (2006) and in the drawing Unexpected Power (2006) she makes use of images from magazines from 1953 that communicate a period spirit of consensus and collective solutions as the effects of welfare policies begin to make their mark. But in order to have access to the welfare system one needs to fit into the norm of a socially acceptable citizen. In Eglé Rakauskaité’s work My America (2003) we encounter a different model of society that requires cheap or illegal labour and in which individual solutions are preferred to collective ones.

Sweden’s new “workers’ party” (Moderaterna) together with the other parties in the rightist alliance, took over the classical social-democrat issue of work and unemployment in the parliamentary election of 2006. Triangulation, the technique of making your opponent’s key issues your own, can gain you a wider following but, in the long run, there is a risk that you will water down your ideological position, thereby disappointing your voters. Johan Svensson’s Landsfadern (Father of the people) (2002) shows the reverse side of triangulation and becomes a symbol for betrayed ideals over the entire political spectrum.

Perhaps one can summarize today’s political trend by citing a leader in the national daily Dagens Nyheter written by editor Niklas Ekdal: “First triangulation that erased all the ideological differences and then a roundabout of promises based on the model: large group of voters – large benefits. Now Marxism rules. Groucho Marx that is: these are my principles. If you don’t like them I have other ones.”