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"Eu acho que foi a Kim que disse: 'it seems like the body doesn’t want to work these days'”

In the beginning of 2022, I was invited to take part in a group exhibition which came from the jumping off point of introducing new and upcoming artists to the “market” of Curitiba. This exhibition titled CONHEÇA, was organized by the production company ArteC Curitiba and is meant to be the first edition of an annual artistic incentive. 

As someone who has operated within many layers of the artistic scene of the city in the past 5 years since my graduation, being it in entirely independent DIY spaces (such as apartment shows or my own 75m2 project), to grants given by different areas of the culture section (such as SESI and SESC), as well as more commercial ventures (working with Soma Galeria), I found the idea of a debutant like “formal” introduction to the artistic society both incredibly weighty as well as quite humorous. Who was I that the public should get to know? Was I meant to be showcasing my past body of work, my labor? Was I supposed to introduce the audience to my concepts and ideas? Or was I meant to be introducing my own meta-self, the artist is present as an artist? The resulting artwork “Eu acho que foi a Kim que disse ‘it seems like the body doesn't want to work these days’” consists of an installation made up of a pink fur covered desk with ceramic facsimiles of a Macbook and Iphone, along with other multi material three dimensional objects which echo those found within the aesthetics of Girlboss Hood. The work explores aspects of the relationships between capitalism and the performance of labor along with gender and other systems of oppression. 

 

Within contemporary society there is a fetish for work, or rather for the appearance of work. A hashtag-centered “building-my-empire-trabalhe-enquanto-eles-dormem” facade of work. None of the deadly sins have been as perfectly suited to be weaponized by capitalism as sloth. We must appear busy, forever busy, eternally busy. Laziness is sin, work godliness. Furthermore, sheer work is not enough, it must be aestheticised to the point of ritual, it must contain the symbols of sacrament. These aesthetics vary based on the sects we believe ourselves to belong to. There is the whey-protein, industrialism of life coaches, the green juice fueled appropriated-yoga morning routine of spiritual barons, the monster-energy-drink-neon-lights-gamer-chair temple of cryptobros. An honorable mention of course must go to the cocaine-snorting, suit-wearing, 1980’s Wall Street men (AND WOMEN) who paved the way for our generations to have the freedom of choice to choose which capitalist-aesthetic will lead to our own salvation. 

 

More relevant to me, through my own Baader-Meinhof phenomenon as a white woman adjacent individual, is the elevation of the GIRLBOSS into the ranks of capitalist sainthood. Being a product of a generation of girls raised in the late 90’s-early 2000s, with a mother who worked outside of the home, I internalized many of the cultural “progressivisms” which came with it.  I should not, as a child, aspire to princesshood or other girly futilities. I should aspire TO HAVE IT ALL. I SHOULD play with dolls and imagine domesticity, but I should also aim to have a career. As an eight year old, I SHOULD understand the political implications of the choices I made during playtime. I should aspire to be like my mother, because she could have it all, because it was 2001, because women could now vote AND have kids AND work outside the home AND have kids. I should aspire for a briefcase in one hand and a baby on the other. Perfect balance. Feminism had won. 

(...)

In the 2010’s, as I myself was in university and entering the workforce, an interesting brand of feminism emerged. This millennial pink wrapped white feminism (literally) coined the phrase GIRLBOSS and seemed to initially speak to the generation of (self entitled) girls who grew up as I had. I was a 21st century gal, of course I didn’t need a man to liberate me, I needed a job to. I knew there would be no prince who would come marry me and give me a perfect fairytale life. But a job contract might do that. A Fairy GodBonus could grant me the dresses and shoes I wanted. Corporate takeovers could build me a castle. I wouldn’t need animal friends helping me with laundry if I had employees who worked FOR me. 

(...)

 

However, within a few years, it became evident to me that this neologism was just the same patriarchal capitalist system that it claimed to be actively fighting against. A GIRLBOSS can do anything a MAN BOSS can do! She CAN fire pregnant employees because they are costing the business money! She CAN cut costs by employing slave child labor! She CAN!

(...)

 

The idea that “work liberates” no longer functions as a sobering propagandistic horror within a fascism framework; it is a slogan which could easily be printed on a pink baby tee sold at Forever 21.

artist statement selected from the essay "I, Girlboss"      

LBF, 2022

"Eu acho que foi a Kim que disse ït seems like the body doesn’t want to work these days”

Acho que foi a Kim que falou “It seems like the body doesn’t want to work these days”

2018-2022

Mixed media installation (Réplica de cadeira Eames transparente, madeira, pelúcia, tinta spray, tinta acrílica, caneta, lápis, aquarela, pastel, cerâmica (corante, vidrado), ego, isopor, tela de iPhone, silicone, metal, papel, gesso, biscuit, verniz, concreto, vidro, esmalte de unha, maquiagem, peruca, cola, grampos, lágrimas, alfinetes, café, plástico, espelho, cera, aromatizante, glitter, flores, cola, cactus, acetato, papel machê, correntes).

Variable dimensions depending on sitter. 

 

 

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