April 28, 2018 - May 22, 2018
6-9pm May 24, 2018
In Workers Club, Alexander Rodchenko imagined an environment where Bolsheviks could participate in leisure activities as an engaged collective rather than as passive individuals. For the Paris Exposition of 1925, Rodchenko’s ideas were manifest in a long table, periodicals, radio programming, a podium, chess tables, wall slogans, and large portrait of Lenin.
In conjunction with The Bread King Learns to Bake: New Works by David Weldzius at Pilot+Projects, the artist has reimagined Rodchenko’s project. Updating the program to reflect the realities of the present day art worker, Weldzius and colleagues have constructed an environment where participants can explore the relationality between histories and concepts of proletarian labor and art labor.
At the Art Workers Club, art historian Philip Glahn will read from a text that ruminates on a consequential meeting between Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin in 1934. Here, Glahn will consider the vital role of artists and intellectuals in politically tumultuous times. In tandem, participants will play a bootlegged version of “Class Struggle,” a board game invented by political scientist Bertell Ollman in the 1970s. Here, players will be encouraged to amend the rules, playing cards, and board game pieces to reflect the struggles of contingent workforces under neoliberalism. A selection of critical texts and song lyrics will be assembled and placed on a Constructivist-inspired podium. In open mic fashion, participants will have the opportunity to sing or recite these doctrines, a fitting accompaniment to a board game that pits exploiters against exploited. Lastly, Pilot Projects founders Chris Hammes and Jen Nugent will perform a choreographed dance that takes inspiration from Frank and Lilian Gilberth’s Therbligs, 17 actions formulated to direct movements of assembly line workers in the early twentieth century. Taken together, the events of the Art Workers Club will provide a space for participants to reflect on their capacity to build a society where their shared labors are acknowledged, compensated, and perceived as indispensable to the extension of commonwealth.
The Art Workers Club is an outcome of ongoing conversations between Philip Glahn, Chris Hammes, Jen Nugent, and David Weldzius. Additionally, limited edition ART WORKERS CLUB t-shirts will be available for purchase, with all proceeds donated to victims of the Gaza protests.
David Weldzius (b. 1980, Evergreen Park, IL) is an artist based in Philadelphia. He has exhibited at David Kordansky Gallery, Stephen Cohen Gallery, LACE, MAK Center, and the California Museum of Photography among other venues. Weldzius was a 2012 artist fellow with the Terra Foundation of American Art in Giverny, France, and a 2014 recipient of a Durfee Foundation Grant. Concurrent with his exhibition at Pilot, Weldzius’ photo-essay “Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Four Meditations on the Old and New Spirits of Capitalism” will be published in XTRA Contemporary Arts Quarterly (www.x-traonline.org). Taken together, his pictures and words consider globalization’s effect on the “forgotten men and women” of the present day.
Pilot + Projects
1719 N 5th St, Philadelphia PA, 19122