Freedom of Sleep

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Up Till Now, Museum of Contemporary Art (GfZK), Leipzig (2013)
Photography: Peter Hermans

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Freedom of Sleep, Stellwerk Kassel (2013)

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Performance, 6h

The performance was commissioned for the group show Up Till Now. In this context the artist was sleeping in one of the galleries during opening hours. A second version of Freedom of Sleep was later shown at Stellwerk Kassel. During one evening four of the art space’s curators were sleeping in the gallery.

»Stefan Hurtig’s art work questions the praise of constant activity and self-promotion in neoliberal working conditions. The distinct and creative nonconformist subject has become a new kind of role model. If any rebellious act is still supporting normative orders, then why just not do nothing? Hurtig’s performance Freedom of Sleep pays homage to Herman Melville’s literary character Bartleby (Bartleby the Scrivener, 1856) who by repeating the mantra ‘I would prefer not to’ refuses any attempt of being appropriated by society. (…)«

Julia Kurz and Anna Jehle, curators of Up Till Now. Reconsidering historical Performances and Actionist Art from GDR

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