Eleanor Heartney – Art and Labour
Reykjavik Art Museum Hafnarhús – TALK Series
Thursday 26 January 8 p.m.
Eleanor Heartney is the first participant in TALK Series, a collaborative lecture program initiated by Reykjavik Art Museum, the Icelandic Art Center and the Icelandic Academy of the Arts. Heartney´s lecture, on the topic of art and labour, referred to the work of Santiago Sierra currently on show at Reykjavik Art Museum.
Using Santiago Sierra’s provocative meditations on the exploitation of labor as a springboard, this lecture looks at the ways that artists explore and are themselves implicated in current debates about the precarious place of the worker in an age of global markets, labor eliminating mechanization and the rise of the digital economy. No longer simply observers of these sweeping changes, artists find themselves swept up in them. In the process they find that it is not enough simply to express solidarity with the beleaguered worker. Instead, they must reexamine how they, and their work, are part of the larger system that is reshaping the meaning of labor and society in the 21st century. Among the artists to be discussed are Oliver Ressler, Sharon Lockhart, Cao Fei, Stephanie Rothenberg and Mika Rottenberg.
Eleanor Heartney, is a Contributing Editor to Art in America and Artpress and has written extensively on contemporary art issues for such other publications as Artnews, Art and Auction, The New Art Examiner, the Washington Post and The New York Times. She received the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award for distinction in art criticism in 1992. Her books include: Critical Condition: American Culture at the Crossroads (Cambridge University Press, 1997); Postmodernism (Cambridge University Press, 2001); Postmodern Heretics: The Catholic Imagination in Contemporary Art (Midmarch Arts Press, 2004); Defending Complexity: Art, Politics and the New World Order (Hard Press Editions, 2006) and Art and Today (Phaidon Press Inc., 2008), a survey of contemporary art of the last 25 years from Phaidon. She is a co-author of After the Revolution: Women who Transformed Contemporary Art (Prestel Publishing, 2007), which won the Susan Koppelman Award. Heartney is a past President of AICA-USA, the American section of the International Art Critics Association. In 2008 she was honored by the French government as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.