press release

What Have I Done to Deserve This? is an exhibition of re-activated documentation relating to three 'random acts of kindness', by Pawel Althamer (Warsaw), Chris Evans (Berlin) and Mierle Laderman Ukeles (New York).

The attitudes and motivations of these projects vary, but in each instance a generous deed, involving hard work and self-sacrifice, becomes a means of making contact with others — excluded kids from Warsaw (Althamer), a museum's maintenance staff (Ukeles), artists in need of production money (Evans) — from which working relationships evolve.

Altruism, in these practices, also serves as a Trojan horse through which the artists intervene in relations between groups of people and the institutions that are supposedly responsible for their interests: an American art museum, various funding bodies in the U.K. and the Polish school system.

'Work', as in 'work of art' and work in the general sense, acquires special meaning as each artist takes as their medium a form of 'real world' labour — school teaching, public maintenance and form filling — conventionally considered alien to the creative act.

Through hard graft the artists locate ludic and desirous openings in structures often experienced as excessively hierarchical, bureaucratic, unresponsive and disciplinary by those threaded through them.

What Have I Done To Deserve This?
Kuratoren: Alex Farquharson, Tirdad Zolghadr

Künstler: Pawel Althamer, Chris Evans, Mierle Laderman Ukeles