Video, 20 minutes.
Roughly at around the same time as as I was assigned to an Activity Guarantee for the unemployed in Malmö I also got 7 white mice
Madelene Oldeman´s videowork Ungefär samtidigt som jag blev anvisad till en aktivitetsgaranti för arbetslösa i Malmö, så skaffade jag 7 vita möss, (Roughly at around the same time as as I was assigned to an Activity Guarantee for the unemployed in Malmö I also got 7 white mice) is a strong critique of the general society´s (here: the Municipality of Malmoe) moral perception of the relation between the right and the duty to work, and of its perception of the ("abnormal") work of the artist in general. While seven mice are occupied with washing themselves, running in their treadmills, nesting and other mouse-like activities, a lively discussion takes place on the audio track about the value of the Activity Program of the Municipality of Malmoe for unemployed artists. The eternal dilemma pops up: does such a thing as the unemployed artist exixts, or should artists not like everyone else have a "real" job to earn a living? The small mice can be seen as an image of the senselessness of activation for the sake of activation. The video has been exhibited together with a series of drawings in wich a Barbapapa-like figure appears. The figure has associations to (the artist´s) childhood in the 1970s. Back then the figure stood for an open "you can be who you want" mentality. The possibility to change form. Now the positive statement has become a demand for flexibility, for example in the labour market.
The video is 20 minutes long and have been exhibited at Kabusa Art Centre 2004, Skånes konstförening, Malmö 2005, Aura, Lund 2005, Rooseum, Malmö 2005 and at Neues Kunsthaus, Ahrenshoop, in conjunction with IASPIS, International exchange 2006.
Stills from the video Ungefär samtidigt som jag blev anvisad till en Aktivitetsgaranti för arbetslösa i Malmö, så skaffade jag 7 vita möss, (Roughly at around the same time as as I was assigned to an Activity Guarantee for the unemployed in Malmö I also got 7 white mice) 2004.
Newspaper articles, letters and other materials about the Activity Guarantee shown at the exhibition at the Kabusa Art Centre 2004 and Skånes konstförening 2005. Photo: Johanna Rylander
Activity Guarantee, drawing, 30 x 17 cm, 2004.