Part of Out of Office

The Value of Absence – Excuses to be Absent From your Workplace

Adrian Melis

2012, Video installation, 10 minutes 12 seconds, desk, images, documentation, monitor

Cuba’s socialist system has led to indifference, demotivation and dissatisfaction in the workplace. Employees avoid work by making excuses and, surprisingly, state-run enterprises tolerate this behaviour. Adrian Melis approached employees and offered to pay them for their excuses. He asked them to record their phone calls to their boss to justify their absence. For each excuse, Melis paid the worker an amount equal to what was deducted from their salary for being off work. In this way, the artist formed a community of people receiving exactly the same amount of money as the state would have paid them for being productive, but without them having to perform any productive tasks.

Courtesy of ADN Galería in Barcelona.


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