➨ From the scale of living bodies, to landmasses, and even on a planetary one – our world is saturated with processes and relations that are exhausting. This exhaustion is consequential; we glamorise producing but overlook the exhaustion and even fatigue that might follow it. The social and political pressure on maintaining a constant production comes at a price: perpetual work, overproduction, and as a result, consuming precarious bodies and other planetary resources.
➧ In addition to this perpetual exhaustion as a result of (over)productivity, exhaustion comes as a consequence of unjust sociopolitical and economic orders that prioritise it. It is for these reasons that ideas and practices of ‘comfort’ are crucial in imagining a different future world. We feel the need to investigate comfort in a way that goes beyond constructed and capitalist ideas; comfort is more than just the process of rejuvenation for the purpose of maintaining a certain level of productivity. Therefore, imagining other conceptions of comfort means imagining different sociopolitical orders and ways of performing in the world; it is a practice with political urgency.
➠ Both exhaustion and ‘comfort’ can be understood as states, performances, landscapes, and conditions that constantly shape our understandings of the world around us – they all influence the ways in which we inhabit, and make space in it.
➟ Within this world, ‘home’ is a locus of various dimensions of living practices. On the one hand home is a space of production of work, experiencing exhaustion and fatigue, and resting of the (tired) bodies. On the other hand home stands for ideas and forms of inhabiting the world. In short, home can be seen as a landscape where exhaustion and comfort are entangled together.
➞ The collective project Fictioning Comfort includes works that take an urgent socio-political stance by fictioning ideas and practices of ‘comfort’. This is done by way of spatial installation, body performance, historical research, science fiction, image making, resource redistribution, extending kinships, and humor.
➛ ➜ ➔ ➝ ➞ ➟ ➠ ➧ ➨ The offline part of Fictioning Comfort is on view at MAMA's Showroom until 13 September, 2020.
I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.
The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Marge Piercy, "To Be of Use"
It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.
“Our Real Work” by Wendell Berry (1983)