Juni 2022

27Jun(Jun 27)00:0031Jul(Jul 31)00:00Resistance / Productivity / ResilienceProject week with students of the Max-Planck-Gymnasium for the exhibition I DON'T WORK ON WEEKENDS

Between 27.6. – 31.7.2022 the exhibition I DON’T WORK ON WEEKENDS with works by the artists FAMED, Anja Kaiser, LoL, Luise Marchand, Irène Mélix and Ari Wahl took place in the Old Town Hall. The exhibition critically examines work and working conditions, especially in the art and culture industries. In these fields of activity and especially for artists, it becomes apparent time and time again that work in the art business takes place contrary to all labor laws, far below the minimum wage, in night shifts, alongside wage labor and care work, and at weekends. The exhibition questions not only how work and its supposed productivity is valued, but also what possibilities and strategies of demarcation there are and what tools may still have to be developed in order to be able to say, even within the art business: “I don’t work on weekends.”

The exhibition was accompanied by the project week Resistance / Productivity / Resilience with students of the Max-Planck Gymnasium. The project opened up a space to critically engage with capitalist working conditions and the associated productivity pressure that is also present in their everyday school life. Moreover it allowed to engage with possibilities to take a break, to relax and to fight together against these conditions (e.g. strike or daydream).

On the first day of the project we visited the exhibition together to give the students an insight into the topic. In small groups, they each dealt with one work more intensively and then presented it to each other. Afterwards we dealt with strikes as a possibility to fight for better working conditions and talked about different places for strikes in Göttingen. One work from the exhibition was even allowed to be activated: The three flags with the statements One hour for life!, One hour for us!, and One hour for the family! by Irène Mélix were carried through the public space, like in a demonstration. This performative demonstration was photographically documented and the photos were integrated into the exhibition I DON’T WORK ON WEEKENDS. The day concluded with a mental journey, which stimulated the students’ imaginations while allowing them to relax.

The second day began with an impulse lecture by Rahel Grote Lambers, a member of the collective Yours truly, LoL, who gave an insight into her artistic practice and steered the conversation towards the connections between social structures and individual possibilities for action. The students took up the offer with great enthusiasm and discussed ways to take a break, relax, and fight together against capitalist exploitation.

Based on this, the students developed their own slogans and questions with which they critically refer to grades, performance pressure and competition in everyday school life.

These were designed in collaboration with the Siebdruck Kollektiv Witzenhausen and then printed on T-shirts, jute bags and banners. Since a member of the collective was ill on the scheduled date, the second part of the project had to be postponed until mid-September. The catch-up date was accepted with joy. The students visibly enjoyed learning about the screen-printing technique and using it to print their slogans. Of course, the fact that they could take the T-shirts and bags home afterwards was also a great motivation. By wearing the critical slogans, the discussion on working conditions continues beyond the scope of the project.

Sponsored by the VGH Foundation.



27. Juni (Montag) - 31. Juli (Sonntag)