Let's Get Banausick! Show Gallery

A foldable zine-format program for an art show I curated at FIND & FORM Space in OCTOBER 2014.
Photo credit: Kevin Frances.

Show Description & Curator's Statement

Find & Form Space is delighted to present Let’s Get Banausick!, a group exhibition on the themes of work, labor, time, and money showcasing work by artists from diverse backgrounds and approaches to making art.

In Let's Get Banausick!, artists address the weird everydayness of work, work culture, and the societal structures and tacit assumptions around work, labor, and payment, as well as the idea of the artist as worker.

The artists in the show employ a wide range of media, tools, and processes including video installation, interactive sculpture, live performances, coded algorithms, repurposed instruction manuals, pennies and dollar bills, print-making, blood, typography, works in progress, multitasking, and bodies. Artists will also request compensation or payment through methods unconventional for a gallery show. Some pieces will request the payment of your attention; others will incorporate payment as an integral component of interaction; and one will even pay the visitor.

Today, the word “banausic”—meaning “relating to or concerned with earning a living”—is a pejorative term describing work that is considered too technical, too practical, too utilitarian, too unintellectual, too manual, and too mundane to ever be art or artistic. Banausic, at best, is skillful; it’s not beautiful, not brilliant. The works in the show suggest that the task of earning a living (i.e. working), the banausic elements in our lives, are not necessarily so boring or uninspiring. Hence, we’ve coined the imaginary word “banausick” to elevate the word from mere drudgery. Let’s get banausick—let us revel and dig deeper into earning a living, whatever that might mean for each of us.

Brief descriptions of selected pieces: In her video installation, Elizabeth Watkins splices and stitches together footage from historical time and motion studies made in service to workplace and labor efficiency; recombined, these images are made absurd to “combat the motivations of capital and its delineation of the moving body into temporal units of productive labor.” In his piece, a neat and orderly stack of laser-cut bills that “inhabit a liminal state of legality/ illegality,” Ricardo de Lima questions the value of currency and the work of artists. Darius Kazemi’s “Reverse OCR” makes visible the invisible work performed by a computer algorithm and, in turn, investigates exploitative labor as well as the humanity and endlessness of work. “Oh no, not another fountain...” by Iris Cutler is a playful homage to both Marcel Duchamp’s R. Mutt and his “Fountain” and the tradition of throwing pennies into fountains for a wish; here, Cutler’s ready-made fountain offers visitors a chance to be paid to wish well on the world and to ponder economic structures built on compassion.

What you’ll find at the show: art about work, working artists, workers, light refreshments, an anniversary cake, a curator, a gallerist, an experimental music record store owner and avant-garde musician, a computer programmer, artists’ assistants and teaching assistants, a social justice community art activist, a global dance music disc jockey, art instructors, a business advertising and marketing researcher, an education technology researcher, designers, one really compassionate person, a choreographer, some wicked smaht people, and, hopefully, you.

Artists: Iris Cutler, Darius Kazemi, Ricardo de Lima, Helen Miller, Angela Sawyer, Sally Scopa, Sara Stern, Elizabeth Watkins & Adriana Warner

Curated by Gregor Spamsa, an existential creepy-crawly based in Cambridge, MA

www.gregorspamsa.com // @gregorspamsa

Note: 40 limited edition exhibition programs will be available to guests on the day of the show.