new-york

“Today I Made Nothing”

Elizabeth Dee Gallery

For the past decade and a half, increasing numbers of artists have devoted themselves to considering the radically altered relationship between work and leisure in contemporary society, which makes a great deal of sense, given that art occupies a uniquely privileged, paradoxical position precisely at the point of overlap between these two spheres. Even so, too often people resort to an old, clichéd trope: The very possibility of art (as an object of contemplation, as a thing produced and circulated) exists only by virtue of leisure time. And yet such leisure time spent in making and looking at art subsequently becomes only another kind of work.

Of course, the real risk then run by any extended consideration of this conundrum is that “work” might become just another kind of leisure all over again. In other words, if work now often masquerades as something else, the opposite can also be true.

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