Parts & Labour’ is an experiment devised by John Chilver and Brighid Lowe to reflect on the material conditions of art production. The emphasis, as the title says, is on labour. Bearing in mind recent debates that have rightly underlined that both art and capital today value immaterial labour above getting hands dirty, this project examines relations to material labour that artworks remain dependent on, although these are typically concealed and devalued.
It will feature works authored by:
Leah Capaldi, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Charlie Jeffery, Gareth Jones, Francesco Pedraglio, Adrian Piper, Martina Schmuecker, Florian Slotawa, Sarah Staton and Richard Wentworth.
These artists were invited to provide instructions for works to be produced (in whatever sense they decide) in not more than 2 wo/man-hours by hired hands.
The artists are paid one hour at the UK minimum wage; the hired hands are paid 2 hours. Each work is thereby defined as the product of 3 hours’ labour paid at minimum wage: an hour for conception and 2 hours for execution.
The artists are provided with a common list of materials – defined by the curators – for which they determine operations or actions to be done. All the works are therefore produced within uniform constraints of materials and time.
Because this is a curatorial experiment and since none of the work exists at the time of writing, it’s impossible to anticipate how it will look, sound or feel.