“Piero Manzoni and the Ends of Work: Aesthetic Autonomy as Autonomy from Capital and Labour, 1960-1970” examines the work of post-WW2 Italian artist Piero Manzoni made between 1933-1963. While economics and aesthetics constitute discrete and irreconcilable forms of inquiry, the Italian context, 1949-73, offers a notable, even canonized (Arte Povera) exception. Piero Manzoni's (1933-1963) work demonstrates the vivid division between intellectual and manual labour (de and reskilling) at the heart of the capitalist means of production and its matrix of "real abstraction." Through a reading of this oeuvre, its influential aftermath and international reception, Mansoor demonstrates the way in which aesthetic practices such as these prefigured autonomia, which indexes the changing historical relationship between labour and capital in Italy in the Sixties, thereby suggesting the critical role of aesthetics in coming to terms not only with history but with the present.
Jaleh Mansoor is a historian of Modern and contemporary cultural production, specialising in twentieth-century European art, Marxism, Marxist feminism, and critical theory. She received her PhD from Columbia University in 2007 and has taught at SUNY Purchase, Barnard College, Columbia University, and Ohio University. Mansoor’s research on abstract painting in the context of the Miracolo Italiano and the international relations of the Marshall Plan era nested within the global dynamics of the Cold War opens up to problems concerning labour-to-capital relationships and its ramifications in culture and aesthetics. Her work depicts the correlation between real and aesthetic abstraction.
This talk is organised by Melissa Karmen Lee and Jacqueline Liu.
Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please RSVP by clicking the “Book Now” button on this webpage or via the Tai Kwun App. Lectures will be conducted in English with Cantonese interpretation available.
Summer Institute is an inaugural programme offered by Tai Kwun Contemporary. This year, four distinguished scholars will lead seminars and public lectures on the theme of Labour and Privilege, explored through art historical and contemporary art case studies. This will take place between July 30 and August 10 in A Hall and JC Cube. Summer Institute is organised and conceived by Melissa Karmen Lee and Joan Kee.