Fotograf Magazine

Agnieszka Polska

Constant Work Under Watchful Sun

On 28 December 1895, at their founding screening in Grand Café in
Paris, the Lumière brothers presented ten films, including “Employees
Leaving the Lumière Factory”. One of the very first motion camera shots
had focused on a stream of people leaving the factory: a mass of women
and men, rapidly and collectively vacating their place of work. Today,
this earliest cinematic image can strike us as somewhat subversive and
alien. Nowadays, this idea of “finishing” work has drifted away from our
individual and collective lives. Through the processes of commodification,
the meaty chunks of our daily existence were bitten off and digested
by the structures of extracting the surplus capital; the individual
creativity being one of the crucial frontiers of this new economies. In
this perspective, the author, as a producer, returns and imposes itself
whenever we are set to examine artists’ positions within the current
division of labour.

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#32 non-work