Sunday, July 24, 2011

Life Work, Work Life

Surprise! A weekend post! The reason being: I will be in Peru from July 25 through August 5. I won’t be blogging in that time, as I’ll be too busy digging through my brain’s foreign language files and dusting off the Spanish folder, as well as fraternizing with llamas, to do so. Until my return, here’s some food for thought from the Frieze archives:

Life, to start with, is not just about your professional life. There is so much more to it than just work. The trouble is that, when you get into art, that ‘so much more’ is precisely what you want your work to be about. Life is what you want to immerse yourself in through your work. The freedom of the artist and intellectual, Theodor Adorno wrote, lies in the possibility of not having to separate work from pleasure as all those caught up in the system of division of labour do. This is our chance for a good life. But this is also why things tend to get messy. [...]
[...] To be part of an art scene was probably always as emotionally confusing as it is today. With who [sic], and in what guise, do you want to get involved and recognized? As a professional or as a person? How do you mark the difference? How do you draw the line between colleagues and friends? Why even categorize? You may wish to be open to whatever someone who enters your life might become for you. Still, recognizing a real friend seems crucial when everyone around you is professionally friendly. And love is a mess anyway when you happen to be in the same field, in the arts, with all of us being – how shall I put it? – a bit special (beautiful and difficult, grandiose and needy, generous and selfish, seeking and giving intense pleasure). So, rather than draw lines, we may want to invent a new language to commune with the strange phenomena that the people who get under our skin inevitably are and will continue to be.

It’s a poignant piece that hits close to home. A career in art does not constitute a 9 to 5—rather, a 9 to forever. The workday never ends, and every day is a workday. And yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 


  1. Great post Jenny. Have a great holiday, about to start Exquisite Corpsing!

  2. Thank you, Adriane! Can't wait to see what you and your fellow Aussies come up with!

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  4. I just stumbled on to your blog and having just finished my BFA this was very inspiring and somehow reassuring to read. Thanks for posting :)

  5. Thanks for commenting! You really put a smile on my face. What do you plan on doing (or what would you like to do) now that you’ve graduated?

  6. I am completely agree with your article it shows me the life is so beautiful if you really know how to lived it


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