Art in General is pleased to present At Work’s End, a New Commission by Danilo Correale marking the artist’s first solo show in New York City. The exhibition grapples with our hopes and anxieties in an era of increased automation. If employment is seen as a source, rather than a solution, to a myriad of global problems today, Correale asks, is it time to imagine and embrace a very different society—a world without work?
The prospect of a future where human labor is obsolete has always been part of the sci-fi imagination, though we’re told today it is rapidly approaching everyday reality. As advances in technology have allowed production and consumption to seep into seemingly every facet and hour of human life, many of us feel pushed to our limit, while robots angle for our jobs and our social safety nets continue to disappear.
The exhibition incorporates installation elements, audio, video animation, and paintings by Correale that consider what another model for a technologically and economically developed society could look like. The artist draws equally from the legacy of 1960s and 70s articulations of the refusal of work, as well as the self-help, motivational records and guided meditation techniques of the era, which became increasingly popular as new forms of production and consumerist ideologies took hold in American society.
At Work’s End challenges us to be slow, undistracted, and unproductive exhibition-goers. We step into a gentle purple light that bathes the space. A hypnotic and durational sound piece at the core of the installation, “Reverie, on the Liberation from Work,” invites us to close our eyes and listen in a reclined position. Created by the artist in collaboration with a hypnotherapist, it addresses everything from the removal of our work-related anxieties to meditations on universal basic income.