The Art of Laziness: Contemporary Art and Post-Work Politics

As one celebrated painter whose work was almost singularly dedicated to black once said, black is not as black as all that. In the broader palette of art, one might adapt this modernist maxim and say, with the authors of this book, that laziness is not anywhere near as lazy as it sounds. Two principles, despite their apparent paradox, quickly become agreeably clear in this anthology, expertly edited by Francis Russell and David Attwood: that laziness can be an artful pursuit; and that, because of that artfulness, this pursuit is a type of work. It can be the type of industrious self-attention that keeps Ivan Goncharov’s anti-hero Oblomov confined in an effort of dignified indolence, getting him only from his bed to a chair in the first 50 or so pages of that eponymous novel. Or it could be the industrial slog of Al Capp’s comic strip hillbilly, Li’l Abner, when he was employed by a bed manufacturer as a mattress tester—requiring him to sleep in the new models each day long.

 

 

Editors: David Attwood, Francis Russell

Contributors: David Attwood, Diana Baker Smith, Andrew Brooks, Eva Bujalka, Rex Butler, Darren Jorgensen, Lisa Radford, Francis Russell, Mladen Stilinovic´, Masato Takasaka, Natalie Thomas, Tim Woodward

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