some establishing shots (labour)

some establishing shots (labour)

Dorit Margreiter's works centre around the "production of space": space as a location and as social space. Our everyday life with its fictions and myths, with its longings and manipulations is an important resource for the artist's reflections on content and aesthetics. She uses various strategies to look into the expanse and ramifications of the everyday world. For the poster project "Worlds of Work" ("Arbeitswelten") for the Vienna Chamber of Labour she examines the influence of fictions from the film and TV industry on the reality of our lives.

Television is probably the most everyday and most globally available of all the media. Hardly any format draws so closely upon our everyday experience as the TV series. Soap operas and sitcoms bring various models of reality to the screen. Their popularity is due to the clever incorporation of the absurdities of life in the modern metropolis, the fantasies and fears which are shared by all industrial nations at the beginning of the 21st century. In extremely banal, but sometimes also complex plots the possibilities of human existence are tested. Besides the private sphere, the world of work is a major theme of the stories – various settings from hospitals to fast food restaurants to advertising agencies form the background for episodes which deal with the ups and downs of the job.

During the course of many years studying the genre, Margreiter has put together a collection of so-called "establishing shots", pictures which introduce the location, such as the view over Dallas behind the opening credits of the series of the same name. Among these many shots are some, that show the direct work environment of the protagonists. Margreiter has made these images the basis of her complex socially relevant work: art as a convergence criterion on the billboard of the head office of the Chamber of Labour. The place where the stories of fictive work situations come closest to reality, where real and media situations build a framework for an exemplary sketch of (work) situations. In the refined parallel guidance of the real and the fictive Dorit Margreiter examines how reality constructs itself under the influence of the television industry. The way in which television series create wants is defined as an factor and is re-portrayed in the choreography of the images on the billboards.

However, Margreiter also refers to the urban location of the Chamber of Labour building, which is part of the play as meta-stage and background for the hidden plot in the pictures. A real-symbolic space is created, a mental space in which social structures and constellations can be experienced.

Dorit Margreiter is an artist and at the same time an author, curator and graphic designer. The facets of the various jobs overlap just as the levels on which her art operates intertwine like a montage. She is a prominent representative of the central movement of the nineties which analysed the systems through which art is represented and conveyed. Artists intervene in areas which are beyond the field of aesthetics intended for them, they become involved in ecological, ethnological, architectural and political debates. It is a question of the criticism of reality and the analysis of social processes. The interaction between artists and social situation, between art and contexts beyond the field of art has led to a new form of art into which all of these elements fall.

(March 2002)