84x64 cm | Filler, oak frame
I did this work by placing two panels of filler on the floor and moving 10-litre buckets of filler between two different positions on top of them. I used three buckets and made 99 transportations.
See a video of the complete performative production event here.
The piece is about human work and its function as a commodity in the form of labour.
Work is deeply associated with life. One could argue that they are the same thing. Life maintains all organisms through metabolism, which requires a constant supply of energy and continuously produces waste. This process can be described as work - applied force through time. Man, like all living organisms, is a creature of work. This work is constant and lasts a lifetime. We are all Sisyphus.
The pattern that emerges when the heavy buckets are lifted out of the wet putty can be likened to a Voronoi diagram. It occurs when the volume of a certain mass suddenly increases, without any new matter being added, creating vacuum filled pockets inside it. The substance is distributed along the edges of these voids. The same formula can describe how mass is distributed in the expanding universe. At the same time, it expresses the appearance of cell membranes in organic material.
The capitalist system transforms work into a commodity of varying value, determined by a market. The primordial dimension of work for the person performing it becomes subordinate in favour of the benefit it has for the employer. The nature of labour as a commodity, in the sense that anyone who performs it is interchangeable, is perhaps the only feasible practice in modern society, but one may ask whether its ever-changing price does not undermine the fundamental notion of all human beings equal value.
Res Ipsa is a compilation of works made by an act shaping the filler once it is prepared inside the frame. The works thus function as a recording device and give a statement of the event taking place while the filler was still wet.
Res Ipsa is Latin for "the thing itself" and is part of the juridical term "Res ipsa loquitur" (the thing speaks for itself), used when an injury or accident in itself clearly shows who is responsible, such as an instrument left inside a body after surgery.
You find a video of a live studio broadcast of me introducing the work here.