The Work Songs programme examines how we give meaning to the world through our work. We literally create the world around us when we are at work. Since time immemorial, labourers have supplied cadence, inspiration, comfort and courage for our toil. Hard work that we often do not benefit from as the fruits of our labour go to others far away and out of sight.
We produce to consume. Multinationals, government bureaucracies, extensive production chains, the digital revolution, mind-boggling financial structures and increasing mobility make our grip on the physical and social environment more tenuous. The utility of our activities is fading away. We outsource everything, even the raising of our children.
By working we make and control our world. We are increasingly surrounded by our own creation. Though, simultaneously our environment appears to be becoming increasingly intangible. Is abstraction the price we pay for wealth? How much abstraction can we actually handle? The Monnik collective from Amsterdam goes in search of the anthropology of capitalism and wonders whether our work makes us more and less human.
Monnik collective― Artist
Monnik is a laboratory for stories, imagination and research, consisting of Christiaan Fruneaux, Edwin Gardner and Vincent Schippers. Inspired by the tragedies and triumphs of our time Monnik investigates life in a self-constructed environment. The trio makes exhibitions, books and essays. They organise workshops, lectures and educational events, in The Netherlands and abroad, above and underground, in the city as well as in the countryside.