Delve

A Window and a Basement: Negotiating Hospitality at La Galerie Des Locataires and Podroom - the Working Community of Artists

Ivana Bago (ARTMargins, 2012)

The text proposes a comparative reading of two self-organized projects initiated during the 1970s in Yugoslavia and France:Podroom - the Working Community of Artists, founded in 1978 by a group of artists in Zagreb, and La Galerie des Locataires, founded in 1972 in Paris by art historian Ida Biard. The analysis addresses the issue of work, the relation between the dematerialization of art and the dematerialization of work during the 1960s and 1970s, with respect to the conditions designated by some theoreticians as the transition into the post-Fordist forms of labor, and taking into account the specific social and political contexts in which the participants of both projects worked. The search for autonomous forms of work, action, equality and collaboration at the same time implied a search for free and autonomous spaces that would simultaneously encompass art, work, and life. Using the names of the self-organized initiatives, or their individual projects as a ground for analysis, the text examines the metaphorical and theoretical potential of the "window" and "basement", as tactics of work, chosen and tested by the protagonists of both initiatives. As a key issue emerges the question of governing space and negotiating hospitality, i.e. the relation and tension between hosts and guests, and between individual and collective work, possession and sharing.

Bago, Ivana. 2012. “A Window and a Basement: Negotiating Hospitality at La Galerie Des Locataires and Podroom - the Working Community of Artists”. ARTMargins 1 (2:3):116-46. © 2012 ARTMargins and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

download txt