The contemporary world presents us with goods and services whose means of production and circulation are often taken for granted by the end user. How are power relations reproducing meanings and discourses in the workplace and how is this reflected within human communication in general?
Through a series of installations, artists Fabio Lattanzi Antinori, Haydn Jones, and Jonathan Munro touch upon issues such as corporate influence upon workspace, the office as a site of production, and the factor of miscommunication in work relations.
Each artist’s approach to the idea of office work and office work relations references the positioning of bodies within current systems of production and the cultural values that come with it. To question these values, they will produce an alternative workspace comprising familiar elements, yet these components will bear subtle defects, provide unknown functions. The elements of unexpectedness, opportunity for chance, and the feeling of incompleteness feed into the idea of how profoundly fragile our relationship with the external world has become.
In their work, the artists take the office as the site where bodies and discourses are produced, and reflect upon an almost ritualistic behavior that stems from the politics of the space. The artworks in the exhibition range from utilitarian products with defects, to performative works expressing the nature of misunderstanding as an integral dynamic in production processes.
In talking about the historical change in sovereign regimes since the 18th century, philosopher Michel Foucault emphasised the essential role that taming of the bodies has played in the development of capitalism, which “would not be possible without the controlled insertion of bodies into the machinery of production and the adjustment of the phenomena of population to economic processes. But this was not all it required; it also needed the growth of both these factors, their reinforcement as well as their availability and docility; it had to have methods of power capable of optimizing forces, aptitudes, and life in general without at the same time making them more difficult to govern.”1
Departing from the common theme of how larger economic structures play a role in how we construct our social space in our times, each artist will develop works that relate to each other in terms of narrative. Fabio Lattanzi Antinori’s work deals with issues of social production, body, and data. Haydn Jones’ interest lies in re-purposed technologies and the relationship between individuals, states, and networks. Jonathan Munro is concerned with creating sculptural objects; intervening in spaces and crafting experiences which question different notions of seeing and interactivity within art.