‘You Sleep for the Boss’. Radical Work Critiques in Belgian Surrealism and early Situationism, 1950–1970
The project of Abigail Susik project analyzes themes of wage labor abolitionism in the Belgian journal, Les Lèvres nues (1953-8; 12 issues), founded by multimedia artist Marcel Mariën in collaboration with René Magritte, Guy Debord, and others. Susik's study queries, how can avant-garde histories, combined with ultraleft political theory, radically reorient the role of work in our lives?
Abigail Susik is associate professor of art history at Willamette University and the author of Surrealist Sabotage and the War on Work. She is co-editor of the volumes Surrealism and Film After 1945: Absolutely Modern Mysteries and Radical Dreams: Surrealism, Counterculture, Resistance. Her work has recently appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Los Angeles Review of Books. From December 2022 to February 2023, she is a City of Vienna/IFK_Fellow.
Selected publications: Radical Dreams: Surrealism, Counterculture, Resistance, Pennsylvania 2022; Surrealist Sabotage and the War on Work, Manchester 2021; Surrealism and Film After 1945: Absolutely Modern Mysteries, Manchester 2021.
How can the artwork be considered a form of anti-work? Responding to the IFK’s current research topic »Different Work,« Abigail Susik’s lecture explores the surrealist sabotage of the work ethic over the course of the 20th century and work-resistance efforts in radical aesthetics after World War II.