Phillips, Andrea. 2013. Art Work. In: Jason Bowman, ed. Esther Shalev-Gerz: The Contemporary Art of Trusting Uncertainties and Unfolding Dialogues. Stockholm: Art & Theory, pp. 239-253. ISBN 9789198087475 [Book Section]
Abstract or Description
How might the temporal and spatial residency of an artist in a museum or gallery be understood in ways that are differently productive – or additionally productive – to that which such activities normally presuppose, i.e., the making of an exhibition or some other form of aesthetic summation? I ask this question both generally, and with specific reference to Esther Shalev-Gerz’s 2012 installation at the Wolfsonian Institute, Describing Labour, and I am led to the question by the work itself. It is true that there are many different types of residency offered to artists around the world, and many of them demand nothing of the artist, understanding instead that the space and time to think, to research, to experiment, to follow circuitous routes of material and structural experimentation, is the work of the artist – indeed it is this that divides the artist from us, from those whose labour is bordered by more mundane or qualified concepts of production.