Ne rien faire contre rémunération
performance & intervention in public space
produced with support of Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles
exhibition Entretenir vaut mieux, New Space, Liege (Be) - duo show with Marc Buchy
curated by Dorothée Duvivier
Images by Maxence Dedry
" At New Space, Katya Ev brings a variation of the performance Visitors of an Exhibition Space are Suggested to 'Do Nothing' which she showed at the exhibition concluding a course at HISK. That one dealt with the neoliberal codes and those of an institutional contemporary art event, holding the middle ground between a gallery space and the aesthetics of a start-up. Visitors, by signing a contract in which they committed to doing nothing for at least an hour, could sit in a comfortable chair made available for a minimum hourly wage (10.25 euros gross per hour), after which they received a paycheck. 'Initially it was a response to the pressure to produce a lot, including for artists. By having a contract and a paycheck, I make that this ends up in the national archives,' the artist said.
In Liege, the performance now called the " rien " will take into account the history of the place - it will note the word "rien" on a wall of the garage, among the texts already present - and its place in the working-class neighborhood, to appeal to a different audience. Katya Ev participates in the project Art au Centre', where she displays a poster - a readymade of a greatly enlarged 'for rent' poster with the words 'Ne rien faire contre rémunération' (Do nothing for a fee) and a phone number. This intervention connects the performance to the rental model.
When I point out to her that it is indeed also a question of the renting out her body, which is linked to prostitution, Katya Ev agrees and she clarifies: "For me, this performance was interesting because of the confrontation between 'doing nothing' and class privilege. It is about deconstructing the idea that 'doing nothing' is a waste of time, which is radically opposed here to the idea of otium advocated by ancient philosophy and then widely developed in Western thought: an aristocratic privilege obtained through the exploitation of others. Katya Ev: "By assigning a symbolic value - through a financial value - this performance offers someone time and space to be themselves. And that question of rental is a knot, it's all or nothing. "
Images by the artist
excerpt from the personal dairy of Louis XVI, July 14, 1789
paint on wall, 18 x 56 cm
"Among all the words already painted in red on the walls of New Space MISE AU POINT [focus], FREINS [brakes], PREVENIR [prevention] C'EST [is] GOUVERNER [gouvernance]...), I slipped the word RIEN [nothing].Painted with an old patina. it disrupts the sentence "prevention is gouvernance'. This intervention is a historical reference. "RIEN [nothing]" is the sentence that Louis XVI wrote in his diary on 14 July 1789, the day the Bastille was taken...(!). I draw a poignant echo to the current situation of doing or not doing anything in wartime.... " 1
1 - interview by Pascale Viscardy, 'Entretenir vaut mieux', Flux News #88 (Be), 2022
first version of the performance:
Gosset site, Brussels (Be)
display campaign in public space
streets of Liege (Be)
Art au Centre#8