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Adelita Husni Bey’s film screening of ”On Necessary Work”

Adelita Husni Bey presents her film ”On Necessary Work”.

Adelita Husni-Bey

Image: Adelita Husni Bey, ”On Necessary Work”, 2021 (still), HD video.

Welcome to the screening of the film ON NECESSARY WORK by artist Adelita Husni Bey. Over the past two years Adelita’s research delved into pandemic-era developments in the field of what is termed ‘essential work’. Her recent body of works address the histories of the capture of carework in capitalist economies and focuses on the paradigmatic contradiction: how are certain workers both necessary, expected to work and undervalued, underpaid, put at risk and abandoned. What mechanisms of de-capture are possible? What urgent tools for analysis are available to us? What examples of radical healthcare practices can we study together? What can the ecological origin of the pandemic tell us about the future of both necessary work and mass disease? How can the concept of ecology be used relationally to rigorously analyze alternatives to superexploitation in healthcare and other essential sectors?

Over six weeks in the spring of 2021, Husni Bey led a group of Danish and US unionized nurses through an online film workshop centered around their experience of worsening labor conditions, masked and mythologized as a sacrifice, during the pandemic. The nurses were asked to film their workplaces, their scrubs and work gear, and to arrange and balance objects significant to them, following specific protocols intended to develop conversations. The resulting film, On Necessary Work, was entirely shot on Zoom. Through the healthcare workers’ perspectives, it highlights their role in sustaining life within a system of crushing exploitation and how they find resolve in their organizing efforts and in each other.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A in english.

The event is part of HOLES SPIRALS WAVES a summer – autumn public program of lectures, workshops and performances that question culturally constructed concepts of time and forms of chrononormativity. The Program is curated by 2022 Guest Curator Valerio Del Baglivo.

Adelita Husni Bey’s project is supported by the Italian Council (10th edition, 2021), program to promote Italian contemporary art in the world by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture.

Adelita Husni-Bey is an artist and pedagogue invested in anarcho-collectivism, theater, and critical legal studies. She organizes workshops and produces publications, broadcasts, and exhibition work using non-competitive pedagogical models through the framework of contemporary art. Involving activists, architects, jurists, schoolchildren, spoken-word poets, actors, urbanists, physical therapists, students, and teachers, her work consists of making sites in which to practice collectively. Her work was part of the Italian pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, Venice, 2017, and her most recent solo exhibition was The Reading, curated by Margarida Mendez, Appleton, Lisbon, 2021. She participated in Trainings for the Not Yet, BAK, Utrecht, 2020, Being: New Photography 2018, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2018; Dreamlands, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2016; The Eighth Climate, 11th Gwangju Biennale, 2015; Really Useful Knowledge, Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, 2014. She is a 2020-2022 Vera List Center Fellow with a project centered on the radical changes in social relations brought about by responses to past and current pandemics.