(Over)worked Bodies, Care and Maintenance

Jason Waite
Adelita Husni-Bey
25 Apr / 29 Apr, 2016
Cittadellarte, Biella
TOPICS/TAGS: Radical pedagogy, movement practices, critical theory, horizontality, disabilities studies, collective care, research, alteration, gift

How do capitalist imperatives condition us to perform unsustainably as individual subjects? As cultural workers grappling with the neoliberal imperatives shaping the field's relations, how do these manifest in the mental and physical stresses of the contemporary labor form? The module departs from its context, Cittadellarte-Pistoletto Foundation, a former textile factory transformed into a site of cultural industry, to examine the formation of our desires around our work, its impact on our bodies and modes of maintenance.

While ideology makes us agents of a 'success story' that de-politicizes pain and pushes our bodies to their literal breaking points, how can an examination of maintenance as a form of individual and communal durational processes usually dismissed as wastes of time or obstructing productivity, embody a resistance against efficiency and towards an alteration of ways of being? Bringing debility, stress and maintenance into view exposes a constantly shifting set of social, political, and affective relations and invites questions about what needs to be maintained and under what conditions we reproduce ourselves.

Over the week-long session we aim to identify and acknowledge these critical constructs shaping our practices, we undertake a collective research to work towards unlearning these moralities through alternative pedagogy, theatre of the oppressed exercises, disabilities studies, workerist theory and horizontal learning. The module co-developed by curator Jason Waite and artist Adelita Husni-Bey, working through our individual and collective embedded ideologies through a three-part focus on the body’s routines, disruptive discourses, and neoliberal modes of desire cooption. 


April 25th
Guided tour to Cittadellarte (Curated by Elena Rosina), including the Pistoletto, Arte Povera collections and temporary exhibitions.
Introduction to the Theorem of Trinamics, the symbol of the Third Paradise and the concept of Demopraxy.
Group introduction presentations.
Introduction to module.

April 26th
Collective reading I.
Constructing a common vocabulary .
Body work.
Mapping our mutual conditions.

April 27th
Collective reading II.
Theater of the oppressed en-acting our mutual conditions I.
Collective reading III.
Theater of the oppressed en-acting our mutual conditions II.

April 28th
Collective reading IV.
Critical practices in maintenance.
Mobilizing collective care, foundation as home.

April 29th
Preparations for self-organized manifestations.
Maintaining our future: self-organized forms of mutual care.


The mentor will prepare a reader for participants with key texts, some of which will be discussed during the week.

• F. Berardi-BIFO, The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy, Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2009
• A. Boal, Games for Actors and Non-Actors, London: Routledge, 1992
• S. Faye, “A Problem Shared: Our Social Media and My Mental Illness”, in Dazed, 2015
• E. Feder Kittay, “The Ethics of Care, Dependence, and Disability”, in Ratio Juris. Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 49–58, March 2011
• D. Gambs, “Training Movement”, in Qualitative Inquiry, Vol. 11: No. 157, pp. 157-169, 2005
• M. Laderman Ukeles, “Manifesto for Maintenance Art, 1969!”, 1969

• Adelita Husni-Bey, Movement Break, Kadist Foundation, 2015-2016 [http://www.kadist.org/en/programs/all/2431]
• Nina Horisaki-Christians, Andrea Neustein, Victoria Rogers, and Jason Waite, Maintenance Required, the Kitchen, 2013. [http://thekitchen.org/event/maintenance-required]
• Park McArthur, Sort of like a hug, 2014 [http://www.essexstreet.biz/files/Park%20McArthur%20-%20Sort%20of%20Like%20a%20Hug.pdf]
• Pilvi Takala, The Trainee, 2008 [http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/pilvi-takala/]
• Working Artists for a Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) [http://www.wageforwork.com/]



Jason Waite is a New York and Utrecht-based independent curator focused on forms of practice toward forming agency across diverse fields such as art, society, politics and critical theory. A recently co-curated exhibition, Maintenance Required, explored modes of individual and systemic maintenance in diverse artistic practices with a focus on the practice of Mierle Laderman Ukeles, held at the Kitchen, New York, during the Helen Rubinstein Curatorial Fellowship at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. He co-curated “Don't Follow the Wind”, an ongoing project inside the uninhabited Fukushima exclusion zone; “The Real Thing?”, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; “The Common Sense” by Melanie Gilligan; and “White Paper: The Law” by Adelita Husni-Bey at Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht, where he was recently curator. He holds an M.A. in Art and Politics from Goldsmiths College, London.

Adelita Husni-Bey is an artist and pedagogue based in New York. Her practice is based on workshops in which she explores contemporary social topics with participants who collaborate critically in shaping the outcome. Her recent solo project at Kadist Foundation in San Francisco worked with teenage athletes who had been injured through their sporting activities, to discuss the problematics of competition and de-individualize feelings of failure. Husni-Bey is a graduate of Goldsmiths University and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions such as “Playing Truant”, Gasworks, London; “Undiscovered Worlds”, the High Line, New York; “Really Useful Knowledge”, Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; “Utopia for Sale?”, MAXXI Museum, Rome and TRACK, S.M.A.K museum, Ghent.

The residency fee includes accomodation and half-board.

Participation fee
570.00 €