Weird Capitalism


Sep. 8, 2024 - Nov. 3, 2018

1030 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn NY
New York, 11211

BROOKLYN, NY–TRANSFER is pleased to present Weird Capitalism, a two-person exhibition with new work by Alan Butler (IE) and Alan Warburton (UK), curated by Nora O Murchú. In the exhibition, the two artists, explore the peculiar tendencies of new modes of work that the smooth logic of capitalism sells us.

A press preview of the exhibition takes place on Saturday, September 8 from 4:30-6pm, followed immediately by a public reception from 6-8pm. The exhibition continues through November 3rd, 2018.

Work, work, work, work, work, work
You see me I be work, work, work, work, work, work
There’s something ’bout that work, work, work, work, work, work
Work, work, work, work, work, work

From endless content production to administrative bloat, today’s conditions of labour ask us to exert not just cognitive and emotional, but existential labor. Economic transactions disguise themselves as experiences, surplus value comes in the forms of retweets, reposts, and algorithmically configured trends. Work has moved beyond the merging of play and labour, and instead operates at an uncanny closeness to our corporeal forms.

Work transforms us. Work contorts us. Work bends us. To live in strange worlds. Fit new ideals. To constantly consume ourselves, spreading its banality across virtually every aspect of our daily lives.

The artists in this show examine the awkward tendencies, the absurd and weird conditions of rapid economic expansion, and the social change that 100%, 24/7 Full Employment brings about. Through their work, Butler and Warburton point to the inescapable structures of capitalism we are firmly embedded within and our complicity within them.

In Homo Economicus, a collection of new video works, Warburton explores how men working in London’s financial district both modify and commodify their own bodies. In each of the works, the artist inflates and deflates 3D characters and the pitch of their voices to conflate the corporate and the corporeal, and question male self-worth and its apparent apotheosis in the hyper-competitive financial services industry.

In Dispatches, a new series of mixed-media sculptures, Butler explores ideas about new economies, precarity, and the nature of work in the internet age. His sculptures take the form of food delivery backpacks and present an array of computer-generated videos, psychedelic reproductions of soviet socialist realism paintings, prints, robotics, and lighting effects. The works raise questions about the contemporary Real, and our conscious and subconscious subjugation that is implicit in a digital society.

The work in Weird Capitalism is presented not as an attempt to develop alternatives to our current modes of employment, but instead explores the part of capitalist structure that is only open for negotiation through its own language.

Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is there no alternative?, Zero Books, 2009
Rihanna, Work, Island Def Jam, 2016


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