Alex White-Mazzarella // “Am I work?” // July-September 2013

During his project in Cologne, Alex White-Mazzarella researched on the influence work has on our lives.

How strongly do you feel your work, your job, in the identity and behavior you carry around? Is your work present in how you treat others? How do you treat yourself? Are you striving for more time, peace and idleness? Or perhaps looking for a way to not compromise your ethics and ideals to a job environment?

Work has an increasing power over our lives. There is no good life without working, but then, when working there is no time for a good life. It is time to bring work to court. After all, no one should complain that we have missed the chance to bring work to justice for its ambivalent and inscrutable influence on each of us. CAT Cologne, New York-based artist Alex White Mazzarella and Cologne-based director Gregor Leschig teamed up to engage the way today’s society values and identifies with work.

 

‘Citizens vs. Work‘ searches for truth that is hidden through the mediums of theater and art performance with contemporary human society. It is imperative that we take the time to contemplate, explore and discuss something so self defining and shaping as work. Everyday life does not provide open supportive environments and situations for reflection and inclusive discussion. This is an opportunity for individuals to identify the challenge and create seeds of new prospects for themselves and others it could lead to a new job, thinking, understanding, or courage!

Alex White-Mazzarella: “We all experience moments when we are fully sensitized and awake to the present moment and in tune with what we may cherish as the calmest and happiest states of mind. Moments of consciousness that take us closer to who we really are and what we need. Moments that help brightly illuminate our humanities, ethics and ideals. What if these moments of consciousness were present in our work environments? How would we treat our colleagues, our bosses, ourselves? What would we be able to see in ourselves and our co-workers that may otherwise be blinded by the white light of stress, performance demands quotas, fear of security, and culture of competition?”

Following the project in Cologne, another version was staged in New York, with divergent reactions and results.

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