126 Artist-Run Gallery is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 Graduate Residency award 2020, Lily O’Shea.
“My work utilises performance, sculpture, and text to interrogate questions surrounding the contemporary labourer. The adoption of methods such as appropriation and assemblage seeks to examine changes occurring in workers’ labour processes. The term ‘precarity’ is integral to the work, this refers to all forms of flexible, contingent and insecure employment. It focuses on managerial practice and project work in order to assess issues concerning the omnipresence of public relations in which symbols of productivity, the performance of engagement and coerced self-realisation have taken precedence.
A precarious worker is frequently expected to expose potential values that are deemed useful by the market which subjects them to a state of experimental precariousness as they find themselves assuming an indefinite role that lacks an occupational identity. The proliferation of endlessly wide umbrella terms such as managerialism and project work offers numerous possibilities yet fails to differentiate between them. This exemplifies the disappearance of specificity in contemporary labour in which the modern-day worker is characterized by burn-out experiences, work-life imbalance, and a general lack of time.
The materiality of the work attempts to articulate the notion of experimental precariousness by locating each element within the ‘work-in-progress’ – a parallel temporality committed to working towards an
undetermined horizon. This intends to initiate a conversation surrounding the trajectory of a precarious person who is often unable to know anything about their own future.”