Mierle Laderman Ukeles Toil and trouble: a group exhibition explores the complications of labor.

4Columns Sep 27, 2018

A New Job To Unwork At

Installation view

Though perhaps best known for its unique scorched-earth version of feminism, Valerie Solanas’s 1967 incendiary and inspiring SCUM Manifesto is equally a theoretical tract about labor, calling for the total destruction of “the money-work system.” For Solanas—no less than for many feminist Marxist thinkers—the oppression of women is bound up with the economic conditions of capitalism, and the only path for escape out of patriarchy is a radical reenvisioning, indeed a refusal, of the category of work. “SCUM will become members of the unwork force, the fuck-up force,” Solanas writes. “SCUM office and factory workers, in addition to fucking up their work, will secretly destroy equipment. SCUM will unwork at a job until fired, then get a new job to unwork at.”

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