Image: Part Time Marketing Assistant, 2014, lithograph, 10×14 inches.
“Part Time Marketing Associate was inspired by a man I passed outside the printmaking studio during a terribly cold winter. He was supposed to dance and shake a sign in a ridiculous costume while cars roared by. In America, tax season is a time for companies to make money, and pay someone minimum wage for pitiful temp jobs.”
Introducing Jeff Lassahn (lives and works in Chicago, IL), one of the artists participating in New Poetics of Labor 2018.
“My work examines the interrelationship of war and inequality, with particular focus on the conditions of the working class. In my lithographic series Portraits of the New American Economy, I examine the new era of working conditions involving eternally temporary positions, increasingly isolated and meaningless work, bare subsistence, and the gig economy that combines high tech with miserable jobs. While the series states “American,” the transformations have occurred globally. The images are stone lithographs, chosen for the ability to make more widely available images and for their distinct history of social criticism.”
Security Guard shows a scene that fills the globe; one where the inequality of modern capitalism creates an industry for guarding property against poverty. In Detroit, Michigan, I saw a guard sitting on in a chair on a platform, with nothing discernable to even guard, and tried to imagine the time he spends, day in and day out, in this barren industrial wreckage. So many other images of similar scenes and conditions strike me, and I have continued exploring the themes in a sculptural piece called “Model War Economy” that is a 3D elaboration of my 2D prints.
Lassahn is the Assistant Director of The Cluster Project, an ongoing online artwork that explores the thriving world of war and its relationship to mass culture.