Monument to work
Monument to Work (Arbetets Monument) is a memorial performed by people in motion. The monument is a work of art by the Romanian artist Alexandra Pirici. It is based on the movement patterns of factory workers, from the 1970s to today, and focuses on the working body in the transition from industrialism to a postindustrial economy.
Monument to Work is a recurring public ritual to commemorate the physical labour that enabled modern society to evolve. Also, the monument invites to reflections on a future where increasing automation may lead to shorter working hours for the same wages – or a scenario where work as we know it will be made a thing of the past entirely.
Unlike many other industrial memorials, Monument to Work focuses on the labouring body, not the factory buildings, machines or products. The monument, which both consists of and is about work, reflects the contemporary shift from physical to immaterial production: the movements are taken from the factory floor, and the functions of the working body made abstract. As part of her work process, Pirici has interviewed factory workers from different generations about the movements they carried out in working life. These movements then formed the starting point for a performative monument that was presented for the first time in Gothenburg, which has a long and proud industrial history.
Monument to Work has been acquired for the Public Art Agency’s collection and is now being performed for the first time on five different locations in Stockholm. Since the monument is about work, the various sites in the city and their respective relationships to work will be reflected in the piece; therefore, although the event itself is the same, interpretations may vary between Skärholmen, Norrmalmstorg and Kista.
Industrial Society in a time of change Monument to Work is the first part in a series of works of art produced by the Public Art Agency Sweden on the theme of Industrial society in transition. The project is curated by Lisa Rosendahl and takes place on different locations in Sweden. The next instalment is a new work by Sara Jordenö, based on the diamond factory in Robertsfors, Västerbotten.
- When and where
16-17: Artist presentation talk at MDT**
17-20: Monument to work, St. Eriksplan
12-14: Monument to work, Skärholmen (Skärholmstorget)
17-19: Monument to work, Norrmalmstorg
12-14: Monument to work, Kista (Jan Stenbäcks torg)
17-19: Monument to work, Medborgarplatsen
* The performance and artist talk is free entry.
** Thursday 25/9 there will be some redirection to get to Skeppsholmen/MDT during daytime. More info here. Pedestrians coming from Kungsträdgården can get to Skeppsholmen via Nybrokajen – Museiekajen. You can also get to Skeppsholmen with Djurgårdsfärjan: www.sl.se
- About Alexandra Pirici
Alexandra Pirici is a Bucharest based artist. She has a background in choreography but works undisciplined, across different mediums, from choreography to visual arts and music, within the gallery and museum space, the theatre space and the public space. Her works have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale (Romanian Pavilion at the 55th edition of the biennial together with Manuel Pelmus), the 9th Berlin Biennale, Manifesta 10, Tate Modern London, the Centre Pompidou, Nationalgalerie – Berlin, The 12th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition, the Van Abbemuseum, Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Leipzig, Bass Museum of Art – Miami, Museum der Moderne Salzburg and Moma Warsaw, among others. She received the Excellence Award from the National Dance Center in Bucharest and in 2015 her public space performative monument – “Monument to Work” has been acquired by the Public Art Agency for the Swedish state. In 2017 she is participating in the decennial international art exhibition Skulptur Projekte Munster.
- About Statens konstråd
Public Art Agency Sweden/Statens konstråd explores and develops the relationship between contemporary art and public space. Through site-specific installations, temporary interventions, urban development projects, discussions, and publications, the agency aims to contribute meaningfully to the development of the fields of contemporary art and the public realm. www.statenskonstrad.se
By: Alexandra Pirici. Dancers: Ellen Söderhult, Tyra Wigg, Linda Blomqvist, Hanna Bylund, Sandra Lolax, Bambam Frost, Adele Essle, Ludvig Daae, Pavle Heidler, Erik Berg and Karine sam Bourgeois Bodinier. Commissioned by: Statens Konstråd. Presentened in collaboration with MDT. Special thank to: Manfred Leuschner and all other at SKF in Gothenburg.