leisure [work] - Brothers to the Sun, to Leisure Time!

Root Event

4. Werkleitz Biennale real[work]

Parent Event

leisure [work] - Brothers to the Sun, to Leisure Time!
5. 7. 2000
D 2000

leisure [work] - Brothers to the Sun, to Leisure Time!
Marcel Schwierin

The leisure society seems to be the only answer of late capitalism to the lack of work; whereby, absurd as it is, it is exactly those people, who are no longer allowed to carry out wage labour and therefore have plenty of free time, are exempt from such leisure activities because they do not have enough money.

Going back to “2001 - A Space Odyssey’s” brilliant critique of civilisation by Stanley Kubrick and Bruce Connor’s “A Movie”, the rocket launches and mishaps in “Dein ist mein ganzes Herz” pick up on the hopes of the 60s of escaping earthly life and its limitations and becomes in this way a caricature of phallic superiority fantasies. The exploding dreams correspond with their failure, but are, on the other hand, like all catastrophes of the media age, a substantial element of entertainment, from which, apparently, is derived the central legitimacy of the entire space travel programme: from science fiction to satellite dishes.

“Kustom Kar Kommandos”, as opposed to this, makes a fetish and an irony of a widely spread ritual, the beloved tinkering about with one’s car - the comfortable successor to the wild freedom on the back of a horse. The man in this case, in opposition to his usual behavioural role - also swings the washcloth; something which the leisure society otherwise rather leaves to the immigrants, who are equally as cheap as they are without rights.

As in the previously mentioned works, a technical apparatus, the studio trainer, stands at the centre of the film “Ich mache die Schmerzprobe”. While at work and in our everyday lives, every movement and bodily exertion is avoided through the use of machines, cars, escalators, electrical kitchen appliances and remote controls, the role of the machine turns itself around in our leisure time, now serving the tiring effort of adapting one’s body to the prevailing beauty ideals.

In “All You Can Eat” our attention is drawn away from the user of leisure time entertainment to its protagonists. The sweating, anonymous bodies of the porno actors are re-individualised through the close-up film picture of their faces. One can clearly see the effort of hard work which has absolutely nothing in common with the lust which is supposed to be represented. The underlying stupidly suggestive percussion rhythm of the soundtrack, which on the other hand is designed to show the strenuous mastering of the instrument as being as pleasant and cheap as possible (no more teacher needed), becomes the scorn of the stupid boom boom. “One, two, three, four. It’s really very simple. Now we get back again to some more complicated rhythm.

“Long Weekend - XTC” mirrors the esprit of a new generation who carry out a kind of heavy labour in the form of excessive never-ending parties. The classic rhythm of life of the wage labourer, who overworks himself during the week, in order to replenish his energy for work over the weekend, is here turned on its head; the week serves the leisure society as a time for soulless fading away in a hated activity, at the end of which their energies awake.

Through his imaginary fight against a lamp cord “Exercise (Boxing)” transforms the effortless activity of turning out the light into an archaic drama, relict of an age of warriors, at the same time as sweat-inducing as nonsensical. As anti-Prometheus, he symbolizes the yearning of the person for the dark, the refusal of reflection and enlightenment, whose technical symbol is the light bulb, and thus refers to the fundamental reason for the failure of the high hopes of the modern age.

Leonid Petrowich Radin: Brothers to the Sun, to Freedom! Russia around 1905

Text von

Marcel Schwierin