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Work (Even the Creative Kind) Won’t Love You Back at Hyperallergic

Eliza Levinson wrote about Work Won’t Love You Back and the art world over at Hyperallergic. Unsurprisingly I loved it.

Eliza Levinson wrote about Work Won’t Love You Back and the art world over at Hyperallergic. Unsurprisingly I loved it. She writes:

In a chapter called, “My Studio Is The World: Art,” Jaffe investigates how art intersects with capitalism. She touches on art’s value both monetarily and spiritually, as well as unionizing efforts in the US and Mexico that have made artmaking more accessible across races and classes since the 1920s. 

Reading “My Studio Is The World: Art” laid bare some of my more internalized beliefs about art, work, and the art world. Fundamentally, I struggled with the implicit comparison of the plight of those of us in the art world to some of the other workers the book describes — domestic care workers and teachers; people who, as the pandemic revealed, were already being forced into precarity both financially and physically. Weren’t we choosing this path, not undertaking it because we had to? Who would an artist, the paragon of a bossless worker, even appeal to for recognition? 

As Jaffe describes, this tension is familiar within the discourse of art workers’ rights. The longstanding belief that artmaking comes from motives outside of capitalism — love, or even “genius” — continues to fuel a sense among artists, art institutions, art schools, and the state that what we do is not work, nor are we workers. 

Read the whole thing at Hyperallergic

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