As part of the programme of the events organised for Palermo Città della Cultura 2018, Magione Arts District presents a new solo show by Marta Czok titled Metropolis.
If the first condition of human existence, indeed its most congenial metaphor, is the natural environment in which we live, work is the activity that corresponds to this condition: the activity through which humanity ensures its survival and establishes its relations. Marta Czok, with this exhibition project, proposes a reflection on social identity, as conceived through the idea of work and its related existential conditions. The precariousness of work, portrayed in the deceptively innocuous imagery of the Anglo-Polish artist, today destabilizes our very identity, with a direct impact on the peaceful and prosperous links between nations. Such precariousness is synonymous with social immobility, hardship, disillusion, lack of future; however, if one sees this through a different perspective, as is characteristic of Czok’s art, one realizes that to confront, both physically and psychologically, our precarious condition is the only way to raise the bar of our prospects: to imagine, to fantasize and to make utopias possible.
The thread of the exhibition is the depiction of the industrial landscape and the work it contains (Factory, 2018; Main Road, 2017; The Game, 2017), the black smoke in the age of contemporary factories’ relocations (Urban Nativity, 2018), the automation of work, the social homogenization of the poor and the newly poor, i.e. the former lower middle-classes (Three Shops, 2017; Penthouse, 2017). The exhibition is therefore not only a tribute to the working conditions of the past: in it, in fact, there is an implicit comment on how work is interpreted today. It portrays aspects of work that are often invisible and the inherent changes that the concept of work has undergone and is still undergoing, in a progressive dilution of the civil rights acquired over decades of union and class struggles.
These are fascinating depictions as they aesthetically capture today’s alienation of labour. Marta Czok indeed narrates a modern assembly line, which challenges the hagiographic icons of work that currently dominate the collective imagination in our hyper-technological society.
Magione Art District
Until October 30th 2018
Piazza Sant’Euno, 11, 13-14, 18, Palermo.
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 6 pm to 11 pm
For info: + 339 5614942