We, Work by Ofri Cnaani

9:15 minutes, 2019

This video is no longer available for viewing. It was presented from May 1-31, 2023 as part of the video art screening program Dancing on Tec(h)tonic Plates.

Table of Contents

Ofri Cnaani We, Work, 2019, video still, 9:15 min.

What is the ‘shelf life’ of an object that is part of an institutional art collection? What is the potential of such objects to delineate the shifts in relationship between art, labor, and social responsibility?

We, Work is a single channel video work that was filmed in the storage facilities of the 80 year old Mishkan Museum of Art in Kibbutz Ein Harod, Israel. The video examines the status of artworks while they are not on display, and contemplates ideological transformations relating to the concept of labor, solidarity, and working conditions. It asks how these are understood inside cultural institutions and in relation to them.

The soundtrack, which was made in collaboration with Tarbut Movement, features a series of phone interviews with individuals of various ages and professions who live near the museum. The conversations reflect on the ever-growing precarious conditions of employment, the interchanging connections between productivity and value, and between the notions of “we-ness” and “work.”

Artist Bio

Ofri Cnaani is an artist and researcher who works across a variety of media, including performance. Cnaani writes about data and coloniality, digital contested heritage, institutional practices in the algorithmic turn, and performance as a model to create critical technology. She is a visiting professor at the Institute of Visual Culture, TU Wien, Austria and a research fellow at the International Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) at the University of Amsterdam. Until recently, Cnaani was an associate lecturer at the Visual Cultures Department, Goldsmiths, University of London. Cnaani’s work has been presented at the Tate Britain, London, UK; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC; Inhotim Institute, Brumadinho, Brazil; Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; Amos Rex Museum, Helsinki, Finland; Kiasma Museum, Helsink, Finland; PS1/MoMA, NYC; BMW Guggenheim Lab, NYC; The Fisher Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Twister, Network of Lombardy Contemporary Art Museums, Milan, Italy; Herzliya Museum of Art, Herzliya, Israel; Moscow Biennial, Moscow, Russia; The Kitchen, NYC; Bronx Museum of the Arts, NYC; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria; Arnolfini Foundation Museum, Bristol, UK; Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv; and the Prague Triennial, among others. Before moving to London, Cnaani was based in New York City, where she was a faculty member in the Visual and Critical Studies department at the School of Visual Arts (SVA). At SVA, she also ran the 'City as Site: Performance + Social Interventions' program. Cnaani recently co-organized ‘Choreographic Devices,’ a three-day symposium at ICA, London and is currently working on a project at the International Space Station (ISS). Cnaani's recent video installation, Leaking Lands, is currently on view  as a solo presentation at SUBTE Montevideo, Uruguay and at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) in Santiago, Chile.