Installation/exhibition CoCA Torun, Poland Oct 23,2009 to Jan 17, 2010
Mariusz Waras (M-city) / Krzysztof Topolski (Arszyn), curated by Daniel Muzyczuk
The collaboration of a visual artist and an experimental musician has resulted in a most interesting and thought-provoking artistic project. Mariusz Waras and Krzysztof Topolski’s spectacular site-specific installation was made specifically to be exhibited in the biggest room at the Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu in Toruń.
Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.
Bob Black, The Abolition of Work
For both artists, working on the project was a novelty. Mariusz Waras, an artist who has so far found artistic expression in two-dimensional murals, now constructs a huge, three-dimensional object; Arszyn supplies it with a special interface for interactive involvement of the viewer, offering each and everyone the possibility of creating an individual soundtrack. The vast, engine-driven factory is accommodated in an institution dedicated to contemporary art, like an ironic comment on the mechanisms of the production of artifacts and cultural policy. The m-city factory produces nothing, it serves no useful purpose, but it stirs the senses nevertheless, and its huge dimensions emphasize the transformations that contemporary culture is undergoing. This factory needs no workers. The engines that keep it going require little attention. The ghostly nature of the installation evokes a vague sense of danger and forecasts the end of physical work.
The installation highlights the notion which is common nowadays that physical work is disappearing. However, the end of work foretold by Jeremy Rifkin has not happened – its means has merely been shifted. A traditional Ford factory has indeed disappeared as the machines has been sent off to China. Workforce has been reduced and reeducated, and their work is now performed elsewhere. The factory is thus an image of the industrialization myth and its revolutionary connotations which, in Europe, have become history. Yet, is a contemporary museum not similar to a traditional production plant in a number of ways? Perhaps the factory and its mechanisms have been imposed on the entirety of societies, and Leaving the factory is no longer possible. Escape from productivity is the only way to oppose neoliberalist order.