What is really the main shortcoming of art today? Where is the essence of its unfulfilled promise of a better world? According to Slovenian art theoretician Bojana Kunst1, a possible answer can be formulated with regard to the paradox that the artist personifies the ideal of the post-Fordist worker who produces using cognitive and affective powers in flexible working conditions without making a distinction between work and free time.

Time is the neuralgic point of general precarisation symbolised by the image of the artist, which is the focus of the exhibition A Taste for Work by the Fokus Grupa art collective. While the collective has often been preoccupied with examining production conditions in contemporary art, this project is a concise reflection on post-Fordist investment in individual’s creative abilities.

Art’s active role in changing the world is riddled with paradox, almost irony, which was most evident in the long 20th century. It began with the experiments of the historical avant-gardes, particularly the Russian avant-garde, whose quest for a new man strived to erase what it understood as the bourgeois separation of private and public life. As the avant-garde implemented this idea consistently, it inevitably started to redesign everyday objects. In their project, Fokus Grupa follow the designs of Alexander Rodchenko and his students, and re-construct two pieces of furniture, multifunctional objects that sought to revolutionise everyday life and break through the shell of the private sphere as the refuge of outdated bourgeois habits. The central point in this battle is the bed, a symbolic space of bourgeois intimacy and procreation. Therefore, the bed becomes the kamfplatz, a battle field for the ideological war of the Russian intelligentsia on the socalled byt, the everyday life of petit bourgeoisie…

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