Unlearning Work: On Refusal

Public Program
Nov 4, 2017

Saturday, November 4, 2–4pm
“On Refusal” with Sandro Mezzadra

Led by Rit Premnath and Avi Alpert as part of the exhibition Danilo Correale: At Work’s End

Location
Art in General
145 Plymouth Street (Map)
Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Unlearning Work is a public program series elaborating on the post-work themes present in Art in General’s New Commission by Danilo Correale, At Work’s End. The publication Shifter, together with the artist and special guests, present three participatory workshops that explore ideas of pleasure, boredom, and refusal.

Each gathering aims to challenge our assumptions and prejudices in relationship to work. Typical event formats are shifted and expanded in an effort to develop new habits for thinking and discussion. Expectations will include practices of watching, listening, storytelling, and dissenting; attendees need not speak to participate in these events, though all will be asked to share in the space of unlearning in some meaningful way—even by napping.

Guest scholars additionally help to facilitate each event: Abou Farman “On Pleasure," Marina Van Zuylen “On Boredom,” and Sandro Mezzadra “On Refusal.” The organizers will identify key concepts that bind us to the governing regime of labor, and ask, what new relationships to these concepts might be possible in a post-work society?

Note that during these events the exhibition Danilo Correale: At Work’s End will be on limited view. Visitors are welcome to experience the full exhibition directly before or after each event.


Shifter is a topical publication that aims to illuminate and broaden our understanding of the intersections between contemporary art, politics, and philosophy. Shifter remains malleable and responsive in its form and activities, and represents a diversity of positions and backgrounds in its contributors.

Sandro Mezzadra is visiting faculty at The New School for Social Research and Associate Professor of Political Theory at the University of Bologna, where he teaches postcolonial studies and contemporary political theory. He has published widely on the areas of migration, postcolonial theory, contemporary capitalism, Italian operaismo and autonomist Marxism. He recently completed a book with Brett Neilson, Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor (2013, Duke University Press). His writings have been translated into ten languages: Italian, French, German, Spanish, Finnish, Greek, Slovenian, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese. He is currently Visiting Research Fellow at the Berliner Institut für Empirische Integrations- und Migrationsforschung (BIM), Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and a partner researcher on two ARC Discovery projects based at Western Sydney University (“Logistics as Global Governance: Labour, Software and Infrastructure along the New Silk Road” and “Data Centres and the Governance of Labour and Territory”).

Danilo Correale is a New York-based artist and researcher born in 1982 in Naples, Italy. In his work, he analyzes specific aspects of contemporary human life, such as the labor-leisure dichotomy and sleep through the lenses of time and body. His work has been presented in numerous group exhibitions, including Work It Feel It, Wien Biennal, Vienna (2017), Rome Quadrienal, Rome (2016), Pigs, Artium, Spain (2016), Ennesima, Trienniale Milano (2015), Kiev Biennial, Ukraine (2015), Museion, Bolzano (2015) Madre Museum Naples (2014), Steirischer herbst, Graz (2013), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2012), Manifesta 8, Murcia/Cartagena (2010), Moscow Biennial, Moscow (2010), Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul (2009). Recent solo shows include Tales of Exhaustion. La Loge, Brussels BE (2016) The Missing hour. Rhythms and Algorithms, Raucci/Santamaria, Naples (2015), The Warp and the Weft, Peep-Hole, Milan (2012), Pareto Optimality, Supportico Lopez, Berlin (2011) and Entrèe, Bergen (2011). Correale is the founder of the Decelerationist Reader and a regular contributor to publications in the field of critical theory. He has recently published The Game through FeC, (2015) and No More Sleep No More, Archive Books, Berlin (2015). He is a 2017 Associate Research Fellow at Columbia University.


General Support of Art in General is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Toby D. Lewis Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland; and by individuals. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

The New Commissions Program is made possible by the Trust for Mutual Understanding; National Endowment for the Arts; Jerome Foundation; Ruth Ivor Foundation; and the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation. Support has also been provided by: Commissioners’ Circle leaders Elaine Goldman, Richard Massey, Jeffery Larsen and Joseph Bolduc; Commissioners’ Circle supporters John and Andrea Nylund and David Solo; and Commissioners’ Circle members Nader Ansary, Rob Colangelo, Don Erenberg, Taymour Grahne, Roya Khadjavi-Heidari, Mary Lapides, Eric Nylund, Leslie Ruff, Steve Shane, and Diana Wege.


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Project Descriptions:

Danilo Correale
At Work's End
Unlearning Work
In collaboration with Shifter