A new job to unwork at
Organized by Clara López Menéndez and Andrew Kachel


Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. Phase One: March 9 – April 17, 2016

Artspace New Haven. Phase Two: December 2, 2016 – March 4, 2017

A new job to unwork at is constituted by two nodes: an interdisciplinary research platform that occupied the Project Space at LACE (Los Angeles, CA) for five weeks in the spring of 2016, and an exhibition at Artspace (New Haven, CT) in the fall-winter 2016-2017. Its overarching premise is to consider the role of work as a dominant life-structuring force in contemporary societies, with a focus on spheres of cultural production.

So far Andrew Kachel and I have realized the first phase of this project. This took the shape of an interdisciplinary research platform involving a core working group of Los Angeles-based artists and curators. The project presented a series of private meetings and public programs that examined the role of work as a dominant life-structuring construct. Participants and audiences were invited to engage in a “material-theoretical discussion” that considered the project’s motivating questions— e.g. What is work? How do we do it? What do we include or exclude within its boundaries? What are the negative effects and strategic advantages of organizing our activities under this banner? Our research traversed different formats, offering insight into participants’ individual working methods and the questions they bring to bear. The project also looked at inserting production into the space of exhibition, directing the time and resources of the institution toward a critical reflection on the conditions that make our work in this field possible.

Participants included Andrew Kachel and Clara López Menéndez (organizers), Rafa Esparza, Shoghig Halajian, Dylan Mira, Lee Relvas, Patrick Staff and Alexia Welch.
A new job to unwork at began on March 9, 2016 with an introductory presentation in the LACE Project Space from 7PM-10PM. During the closing weekend on April 14-17, 2016, a series of events will verbalize some conclusions, share strategies, and mobilize ideas that emerged during the research process. This included the screening Net Incidents Collide curated by project participant Dylan Mira.

The project takes its title from Valerie Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto (1968).

More information about the project and the research we did together throughout the 5 weeks the group was meeting on anewjobtounworkat.tumblr.com

This blog is intended as a platform to share our research. All the readings proposed for the discussions as well as other materials used by the collective research are available there too.

Andrew and I are currently working on the 2nd phase of the project that will take place in New Haven’s Artspace between December 2nd, 2016 and March 4, 2017. Is it really working in New Haven will work with the research possibilities of the exhibition as a format to think through the core questions and issues of work, labor and their relationship to subjectivity formation in highly developed capitalism. We are very excited because we know that so far we will be working with Anna Betbeze, Park McArthur, Constantina Zavitsanos, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, YES! Association/Föreningen JA!, Erica Love & João Enxuto, and more t.b.a.



Rafa Esparza was born, raised, and is currently living in Los Angeles. Esparza is a multidisciplinary artist. His work ranges in medium from installation, sculpture to drawing, painting; and predominantly live performance. Woven into Esparza’s bodies of work are his interests in history, personal narrative, and kinship. He is inspired by his own relationship to colonization and the disrupted genealogies that come forth as a result of. Esparza is persistent in staging situations where he attempts to experience a time and space inaccessible to him. Using live performance as his main form of inquiry; site specificity, materiality, memory and (non)documentation are primary tools in interrogating, critiquing and examining ideologies, power structures and binaries that problematize the “survival” process of historicized narratives and the present environments wherein people are left to navigate and socialize. Esparza has performed in a variety of spaces ranging from community engaged places such as AIDS Project Los Angeles, to galleries and museums including The Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Highways Performance Space, REDCAT, Human Resources, SOMArts and most recently public sites throughout the city of L.A. He is a recipient of an Emerging Artist 2014 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists, a 2014 Art Matters grantee, and a 2015 recipient of a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant.

Shoghig Halajian is Assistant Director at LACE and Co-Managing Director at Human Resources LA. Recent curatorial projects include Rafa Esparza: i have never been here before (LACE, 2015); i,ii-xi, a talk series, in collaboration with Suzy M. Halajian and Anthony Carfello (2015); and The Heart is the Frame (LACE, 2014). From 2007-2010, she co-directed Eighteen Thirty Collaborations, a project space that focused on performance-based artist commissions. She has presented collaborative projects at Magasin-Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble; Unge Kunstneres Samfund, Oslo; SOMA, Mexico City, among others. She invited Clara López Menéndez and Andrew Kachel to develop A new job to unwork at in the LACE Project Room.

Dylan Mira is an artist moving video and text, recording how language makes bodies within the limits of representation and the thickness of time. Her recent projects have been presented at Performa 15, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Artist Curated Projects, Los Angeles Nomadic Division, and Human Resources. She holds an MFA in New Genres from University of California Los Angeles and a BFA in Video from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Lee Relvas is an artist using sculpture, performance, writing, and sound to think through and manifest the visceral and immaterial experiences of being a body.  She has performed and shown work at Artist Curated Projects, Park View Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, Suzanne Geiss Company, Honor Fraser Gallery, Orchard, Art in General, and The One Archives.  She is also a musician who records under the moniker Rind and is at work on her seventh solo album.

Patrick Staff is an artist based in London and Los Angeles. Their interdisciplinary and frequently collaborative work considers ideas of discipline, dissent, labour and the queer body, frequently drawing on the historical narration of counter-culture and alternative forms of community building. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at Chisenhale, London; Spike Island, Bristol; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; and Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. They have most recently been part of the Serpentine Transformation Marathon 2015, and British Art Show 8, which tours venues throughout 2016.

alexia welch lives, works, jogs in Los Angeles where she also makes videos and texts. these projects often take up issues surrounding embodiment, dykeish sexuality and community standards. she graduated from the film and electronic arts department at bard college in 2013.

During the summer of 2016 I was back in my dear Berlin working on this amazing project with my colleagues, the people with whom I did Wir Spielen (We Play) in 2013 (mostly).

Between May 12th and June 24th we worked hard with a myriad collaborators and participants, fostering a platform and meeting point where to share different practices that approach activism, artistic creation, advocacy, performance, etc from a feminist perspective.

Here is more information about this project that allowed me to learn so much.

Also for complete info about the project check noplay.ngbk.de and noplayfeministtraining.wordpress.com/

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No play

Feminist Training Camp, Publication
21 May – 26 June 2016 // Opening: 20 May 2016


Still from Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames, 1983


Wake up! This is station 2016 on your dial. If you can’t find it then you’re in trouble, sister.
– Born in Flames, 1983

Wassan Ali, Bini Adamczak & Konstanze Schmitt, Anna Bromley, Cinenova Feminist Film and Video Distributor / Karolin Meunier, COOL FOR YOU, Kajsa Dahlberg, Athena Farrokhzad, Feministische Gesundheitsrecherchegruppe Berlin, Feminist Repair Café / Elisa Garrote Gasch, Annie Goh, Minna Henriksson, International Women’s Space, Karolina Kucia, Las Hipókritas, Lowkick Tag Team, Diana McCarty, Iris Rajanayagam, Noha Ramadan, Naomi Rincón Gallardo, Sabrina Saase & Lanca, Nora Sternfeld, Dominika Trapp & Virág Bogyó, MC Xuparina, Andrea Zarza a.o.

—   A message from the future is warning us that time is running out.   —

No play quote

In the past years Europe’s colonial continuities and deeply rooted fascist practices have come to the fore in ever more frightening ways. Resistance is now crucial. We urgently need to revive old and develop new feminist and anti-fascist strategies of resistance and survival.

—   What training do we need?   —

No play proposes a structure, a temporal, spatial and social architecture that turns the exhibition space of nGbK into a resource, a site of activity and exchange in the shape of a Feminist Training Camp.

The Training Camp stems from a queer understanding of feminism with a strong  emphasis on grassroots models of collective organization, knowledges based in lived experience and the handling of daily oppressions. A space for disagreement and negotiation that can create a situated public considered political. For this, an intersectional understanding of how categories such as gender, race, class, ability, and sexual orientation are intertwined in oppressive power structures is necessary.

nGbK project group: Freja Bäckman, Enna Gerin, Merja Hannikainen, Annika Högner, Vappu Jalonen, Clara López Menéndez

In 2013 at nGbK the group (with Bogg Johanna Karlsson) investigated the pronoun ‘we’ with the project WIR SPIELEN (WE PLAY). Their practice is informed by the idea that the structure of HOW we come together strongly influences WHAT we can do together.


commune-tv-12Video program. Part 1
This program is made in conjunction and in dialogue with the exhibition “The Closer I Get to the End the More I Re-write the Beginning” curated by Suzy Halajian and that opens on November 21 at Human Resources Los Angeles.
Part 1 is a 2 day video program curated by Clara López Menéndez and Suzy Halajian.

Location: 1009 N. Madison Ave. LA, 90029
Due to the nature of the program please RSVP to invitation.of.sorts@gmail.com

Saturday, November 14, 2-9pm
Screening La Commune (Paris, 1871), 2000, 345 min / A film by Peter Watkins / Courtesy Icarus Films

Sunday, November 15, 5:30-9pm
Screening of Jasmina Metwaly and Philip Rizk’s Out on the Street, 2015, 71 min, followed by a discussion on both films.

“The Closer I Get to the End the More I Re-write the Beginning” wants to interrogate the state of exhaustion as a contemporary condition, through the time and space that make it possible. The project questions the appearance and contours of social spaces that enable exhaustion, and locates instances within these sites that allow for new forms of sociability. By considering both individual and collective states of being together situated within a neoliberal and mutating model of capitalism, the exhibition asks how these spaces may be realized in a state of nonstop action and renewal and how their potentials may unfold over time.

What is the social space created by a screening? And a film production? How the conditions of production transform the material outcome independently of the medium’s qualities? What happens when exhausted political moments are mobilized by the desires behind filmmaking, bringing into life a functional “lie” that helps understand the present? Is this re-iteration of the past a legitimate tool or just a foolish operation?

This screening is exhausting and it’s set up as a social task. We wanted to gather a group in front of these films to outlive their lenght and engage in the complexity of the propositions they convey, entangled in their attention to detail and aversion to synthesis.

La Commune

For the film LA COMMUNE we travel back in time to 1871 to the Paris Commune, the French revolutionary government established by the people of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War (1871-1871). A journalist for Versailles Television broadcasts a soothing and official view of events while a Commune television is set up to provide the perspectives of the Paris rebels. On a stage-like set, more than 200 actors interpret characters of the Commune, especially the Popincourt neighborhood in the XIth arrondissement. They voice their own thoughts and feelings concerning the social and political reforms. The telling of this story rests primarily on depicting the people of the Commune, and those who suppressed them.

Deliberately, this film is an attempt to challenge existing notions of documentary film, as well as the notions of ‘neutrality’ and ‘objectivity’ so beloved by the mass media today. The film is not intended as an apologia on behalf of the Paris Commune. But at the same time, it attempts to show that the Paris Commune, for all its human frailty, its internal conflicts and its blundering, was an event of major importance, not least because of the way in which its leading reformers tried to work with social process, by a direct involvement with the community and its needs.

Out on the Street

Out on the Street is a film about a group of workers from one of Egypt’s working class neighborhoods, Helwan. In the film ten working-class men participate in an acting workshop. Through the rehearsals, stories emerge of factory injustice, police brutality, courts that fabricate criminal charges, and countless tales of corruption and exploitation by their capitalist employers. On a rooftop studio overlooking the heart of Cairo – presented as a space between fact and fiction – the participants move in and out of character as they shape the performance that engages their daily realities. Out in the Street interweaves scenes from the workshop, fictional performances, and mobile phone footage shot by a worker intended as evidence for the courts to stop the destruction of his workplace. This hybrid approach aims to engage a collective imaginary, situating the participants and spectators within a broader social struggle.

La Commune (Paris, 1871) courtesy of Icarus Films
Out on the Street courtesy of the artists, Jasmina Metwaly and Philip Rizk

Last Sunday, a week ago, on October 25 I organized a screening in Human Resources Los Angeles to commemorate the work of Chantal Akerman and mourn her loss.

I decided to show Saute Ma Ville (1968), Je Tu Il Elle (1976) and Toute une Nuit (1982).

Berenice Reynaud, who is the experience of film made flesh and was close to Chantal, made a beautiful and important introduction.

This the program text that I wrote:

“On Sunday October 25 we want to pay tribute to Chantal Akerman, a filmmaker that has changed our lives and our eyes to see cinema, to be cinema. We can’t believe and don’t want to accept her disappearance. We felt the need to mourn and homage her with a screening, in the silent social created before her images. We chose these three titles because they broke our hearts and shattered our gazes to what cinema had the power to do, a tool in the right hands. It also will give us a way into her many paces, rejoicing in her surgical cinematography.

Join us to say good bye to Chantal and long live her memory, her legacy made celluloid, taken by the hand of her strong, quiet heroines.”

This is one of the best things I’ve organized in my life. It is heartbreaking that the circumstances for an homage to her work had to be the ones that were, but people’s response in LA demonstrated that her legacy is alive, crisp and relevant as ever.

Being able to see Je Tu Ill Elle with over a hundred people in a room is an experience hard to describe.

Thank you to everyone that came that night out to be together in front of her cinema. Thanks Human Resources for being absolute game and allowing me to put the screening together so quickly in the best space possible for something like this. Thank you Berenice for your words and everything else.

One of those nights that helps you remember why we do what we do, even if the circumstances had to be so tragic.





I’ll try. It’s that I’m Perceiving a Crooked Reality is a video I’ve done as my participation in the panel discussion “Theory Beyond the Regime of the Theoretical: Fun With Race, Sex, Dis/ability, and Performance” organized by Katherine Brewer Ball and Leon Hilton and presented at the American Studies Association Annual Meeting 2014 in Los Angeles on November 9th.


Today I’m starting a social-listening project that Maya Dikstein and I came up with as part of our different residencies here in São Paulo. I’m at the FAAP and she’s having one at Casa Juisi/Phosphorus. In an instinct to activate the space and open it up with a gathering that wasn’t a conversation or any very productive format, and focusing our her current interest in listening as an action, ontologically and epistemologically speaking, we started a series of Escutas or Listen-ins, weekly evening meetings where to gather in silence or noise to listen to something yet undetermined and enjoy them as a social act, disregarding the noisy, active part of communication.

We encourage all people coming, listeners, to bring ideas and objects or situations to listen to in the next sessions. We are going to do it once a week, listening to other things, but the first is Galaxias, a poem by Haroldo de Campos written between 1963 and 1976. The recording is the poet reading Galaxias in 1992. The whole duration of the tape is 1h 09′ 26″

If you are around this evening and wanna come to listen to some pre-recorded poetry, lay down and enjoy the sound in common, join us!

Today at Phosphorus close to Praça da Sé, Centro, São Paulo, at 20h

Here more info in Portuguese and the address etc