All that you touch You Change. All that you Change Changes you.*

Durational participatory action; materials and participants: table with clay, wall drawing, Artspace staff and other invited participants, recurring score including instructions and questions to engage during weekly one-hour séances.

YES! Association / Föreningen JA!, 2016


For the exhibition A new job to unwork at curated by Andrew Kachel and Clara López Menéndez, YES! Association / Föreningen JA! proposed a space of social and material entanglement, manifesting through a round table covered with clay. Clay is a pliable matter that floats and lingers between notions of work, use value, and the sphere of the hobby, accessory to an ”unproductive” activity performed during leisure time. Clay is a porous territory that registers the hands that shape it, tracking the moods that surround it. Once a week during the exhibition period, people will meet around the clay table for an hour. For every meeting, YES! Association / Föreningen JA! will propose different questions relating to aspects of work and unwork, as well as instructions on how to engage with the clay. These meetings will be attended by two different groups: the staff of Artspace, and a group of individuals coming from diverse parts of New Haven’s art community. The former group is getting paid for this hour, and will engage in the meeting––or séance as the artists call it––during office hours; the latter group is not getting paid.


The instructions / question that the two groups are asked to engage with during the séances are as follows:


Engage the clay with the Karl Marx quote: “All that is solid melts into air“. / How do you make up a “we”?
Engage the clay with the Sadie Plant quote: “Those where the days when we were all at sea.” / Are you ready?
Make a fire! / Are you angry?
Engage the clay with the Audre Lorde quote: “I come from the earth‘s inside.” / What is not here now?


During the opening the clay is placed on the table and worked through. The last séance will take place on February 25 and is open to the public. Let us know if you want to join.


This project erupted from a brief and intense entanglement with Kristine Anthis.


  1. *The title is taken from Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (1993).



...

above and 2 below:

documentation from Séance 2 / Date: December 7 2016, 4-5 pm

Participants: Artspace Staff

Instruction: Engage the clay with the Karl Marx quote: ”All that is solid melts into air”.

Question: How do you make up a ”we”?



...

below:

documentation from Séance 1 that took place during the opening of A new job to unwork at / Date: December  2 2016, 3-6pm

Participants: curator Andrew Kachel, artist Kristine Anthis, Artspace interns and volunteers

Instruction: Unpack the clay. Place it on the table. Work it through until it covers the table evenly.

Question: Are you working right now?

Åsa Elzén

mail@asaelzen.com

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