PhD Projects

Francesca Brusa

Francesca Brusa


Francesca Brusa (*1991) is a curator and author in contemporary art. She holds a BA in Economics and Management of Art, Culture and Communication from Università Bocconi in Milano, and achieved a MAS in Curating at ZHdK in Zurich. After having worked with Michelangelo Pistoletto and Bonnie Ora Sherk, she developed an independent, non institutional curatorial practice. She is co funder and curator of international, experimental art spaces like archiveboxmuseum and klarakiss.zipspace. Her research is directed towards the understanding of production processes and hidden labor in contemporary art and society. She is based between Milano and Zürich.

Dissertation project

Invisible production – Distributing the invisible and the visible between the process of labour and the work of art. Maja Bajevic, Maria Eichhorn, and Mika Rottenberg staging the critique of immaterial labour.

The research project looks at the relation between artistic production and heteronomous forms of contemporary labour (Roberts, 2007). In the 21st century, both forms of production seem mutually intertwined. In fact, whereas the labour conditions of the neo-liberal subject are shaped according to the figure of the artist (Boltanski, Chiapello, 1999), many artists seem to stage the performance of non-artistic labour. Thus, the project seeks to determine how contemporary artists address the structural relation of labour to the public sphere (Molesworth, 2000) and how they expose contemporary and biopolitical structures of labour (J. Berry, 2019). Since the 1990s, post-conceptual artists expanded the field of critique, adjusting it to the disappearance of material manufacture production from the public sphere. Are these artistic practices informed by the critique of immaterial labour? Are they opposing the geo-political distribution of material production to the Western world, increasingly based on immaterial labour? (Caffentzis, Federici, 2013). Looking at the works of Maja Bajevic, Maria Eichhorn, and Mika Rottenberg, the project seeks to grasp the artistic exposure of the ambivalence of immaterial and material labour which characterize contemporary production. Considering the biopolitical nature of labour which emerges in Hannah Arendt’s “Human Condition” (1958) and in the work of the post-Operaists (Lazzarato, 1996; Virno, 2002), the research inquires how the works of contemporary artists contribute to the theoretical field.

Time to decide

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