Coincidence or not, a stone’s throw from the exhibition that, among many other things, explores the figure of the vampire as a dark incarnation of the wildest capitalism, another display of much more modest ambition but notable impact fantasizes about the sweet doing nothing as the perfect antidote to “constant hyperactivity in contemporary society.” A celebration of laziness and inactivity which takes impulse in the words of the Polish painter Kazimir Malévich (“laziness is not the mother of all vices, but the mother of perfection”) to end up agreeing with that other philosopher named Luis Aguilé.
Because, in effect, it is a pain to work, a maxim that Caixaforum Barcelona makes its own to build Sooooo lazy. In praise of waste » from fifty works from the contemporary art collections of La Caixa and Macba, as well as loans from Fundaçao Serralves and Cal Cego. Some fifty pieces by artists such as Ignasi Aballí, Francesc Abad, Xavier Ribas, Ángela Ferreira or Priscila Fernandes, among others, who they claim laziness, “not doing”, as a form of resistance and a mechanism to contribute to the common good. The idea, defend the curators Beatriz Escudero and Francesco Giaveri, is to contrast “active life with contemplative life” to question contemporary hyperactivity and the very notion of the workplace.
There are, for example, the two pieces that receive the visitor, two mobile sculptures with which Angela Ferreira It evokes a textile factory and the Industrial Revolution and also questions the usefulness of certain jobs that force people to adjust to a mechanical rhythm. Beside him, a video of the Dutchman Aernout Mik shows how a group of people methodically and systematically destroy consumer items in a supermarket. More evident still is «Waste”, Ignasi Aballí’s installation that brings together 20 pots of white paint, the same ones that the Barcelona artist bought and allowed them to dry while he decided what he was going to use them for. “The exhibition defends rescuing laziness from political contempt and shows that, in fact, it is the purpose and dream of any human being,” the curators highlight.
Thus, as long as you fantasize about spending the rest of your days watching the grass grow or the paint drying, you can settle into that «Zaj chair» with which Esther Ferrer invites you to sit down “until death do you part”; see to what extent a lunch break makes the editors of a Duane Hanson exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art confused with sculpture; or stop to wonder if that cigarette butt is really part of the installation of the Galician Misha Bies Golas.
A video recreation of the mythical country of Jauja, A fantastic paradise in which you don’t have to give a stick to the water, it helps to introduce into the exhibition references to a pandemic that has forced the slowdown of the system and, at the same time, prevents you from sitting on the three deck chairs from which Priscila Fernandes encouraged contemplate your creation. A slight setback that, however, does not affect the essentials since, with or without covid, wasting time and entertaining yourself in the noble art of yawning will always be a virtue to be boldly cultivated.