“lifework” at 9338 Campau @ infinite mile
9338 Campau and its predecessor, 2739 Edwin—both directed by Hamtramck gallerist Steve Panton—have presented a few recurring themes over the years, one of which indisputably reflects an interest in labor as a human experience and a political act. Labor is both a great social equalizer and a divider; all humans (and some would argue, all known life on Earth) labors in some capacity or another. However, this common experience quickly becomes fragmented along lines of physical effort, compensation, specialization, gender, and status (not only with humans: consider bees)—which is what makes labor and its valuation the foundational concept within Marxist economic theory. During the month of March, 9338 Campau staged “lifework”, two interrelated performance pieces about labor, executed by two different artists, Eli Gold and Melanie Manos. Gold, Manos, and 9338 Campau are doing the work of examining work, but one has to wonder if their means may still, ultimately, perpetuate the wrong end.