Work of the hand or work of the mind? Art and (in-)activity
A presentation of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz on board of the exhibition-ship MS Wissenschaft 2018
Photo: Ilja Hendel / Wissenschaft im Dialog
The MS Wissenschaft will once again weigh anchor on 15 May 2018. The exhibition, commissioned by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Germany's Ministry of Education and Research), and held in collaboration with numerous scientific institutions such as the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, is dedicated this year (Year of Science 2018) to the theme "Future Worlds of Work". So visitors who board the 100 metre long cargo vessel will embark on a journey through the "Future of Work": an interactive exhibit that will enable you to discover how the latest technologies are changing the experience of work, what skills will be required in the future, how long and in what professions people will work and how they can stay healthy in their working life. The MS Wissenschaft will dock at 34 towns in Germany, and will then continue its journey by sailing onwards to Austria.
With its own exhibit "Work of the hand or work of the mind? Art and (in-)activity" the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz will also be represented once again on board the MS Wissenschaft this year. It will present visitors in a vivid way with the multi-faceted and decidedly controversial history of the relations between art and work. For art as a specific aptitude and form of work was and remains an inseparable part of social, economic and power-political constellations, but at the same time opens up spaces of (individual) freedom and autonomy.
In a wide-ranging survey stretching from Antiquity to the present day, the exhibit is articulated in six thematic sections. It aims to show how various forms of activity are developed in different cultures, historical periods and contexts, and how in each of them the contribution to or interaction between the manual and the mental is conceived in the creative process. Particular significance is attributed in the exhibit to the relevance of such a reflection on the specific value of manual work in our time, and also to the importance of the imagination and inactivity in the creative process. Just such a preoccupation with contemporary art and architecture, which often place the focus on participative action and collaboration and concentrate more on the creation of new forms of life and environment than on the pursuit of material profit, enables us to examine present and future concepts of work in a critical and productive way.