What the tortoise murmurs to Achilles: On laziness, economy of time, and productivity

Savvy Contemporary, Berlin, Germany
18 Mar 2016 - 08 May 2016

What the tortoise murmurs to Achilles: On laziness, economy of time, and productivity

Maria Iorio / Raphaël Cuomo, Appunti del passaggio, 2014-2016, in progress.

The exhibition project ‘What the tortoise murmurs to Achilles’ is a bid to investigate alternative understandings and perceptions of time from a pluricultural and decolonial perspective by digging into the politics of time and of its negotiations in geopolitical power relations. This project cannot afford the luxury to stand as a simple praise of idleness or a superficial claim on the right to be lazy; rather, the exhibition will be a conceptual and physical space for reflections on chronopolitics and power mechanisms that frame certain rhetorics of time economy.

That is to say, the exhibition will take its cue from the assumed and connotated ‘slow’ and ‘disruptive’ rhythm associated with “Southern” attitudes as a position of resistance to the purported industrious nature of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Max Weber).

Artists: Nidaa Badwan, Atef Berredjem, Raphael Cuomo & Maria Iorio (+ Videobase), Cevdet Erek, Abrie Fourie, Katia Kameli, Brandon LaBelle, Abraham Onoriode Oghobase, Junebum Park, Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger

Curators: Elena Agudio, Saskia Köbschall & Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

The first condition for post-abyssal thinking is radical co-presence. Radical co-presence means that practices and agents on both sides of the line are contemporary in equal terms. Radical co-presence implies equating simultaneity with contemporaneity, which can only be accomplished if the linear conception of time is abandoned.

Boaventura de Sousa Santos | 2007

This research and exhibition project brings together diverse artistic positions in order to explore “radical co-presence” of different temporalities and conceptions of time, disrupting the chronopolitics of straight temporality by shedding light on the entanglements of notions of time, ideas of productivity (laziness), and spatio-temporal hierarchies that continue to shape our present.

The native’s laziness is the conscious sabotage of the colonial machine; on the biological plane it is a remarkable system of auto-protection; and in any case it is a sure brake upon the seizure of the whole country by the occupying power. (…) The duty of the native who has not yet reached maturity in political consciousness and decided to hurl back oppression is literally to make it so that the slightest gesture has to be torn out of him.

Frantz Fanon | 1963

WHAT THE TORTOISE MURMURS TO ACHILLES. On Laziness, Economy of Time, and Productivity will negotiate between the various perceptions of laziness, as a “conscious sabotage of the colonial machine”, a “system of auto-protection” (Victoria Bernal) or ideological refusal of a capitalist work ethics (cf. Paul Lafargue, Ivan Illich), and the demonization of it as the source of all economic and social ills. The project will investigate the politics of laziness and the way it relates to notions of linear time, progress, economic productivity, and work ethics. The project still grants space to consider indolence and inactivity as opportunities to liberate the world from the neurotic rhythms of capitalism.

Time is not money
And the time has come, again,
To outwit and outlast
Survive and surmount
The authors of the blasphemy
Of our chains.
James Baldwin | Song (for Skip)


Full concept: Here


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