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May 21, 2017 at 4:00 pm

The Work of Love, The Queer of Labor

Franklin Street Works newest exhibition, “The Work of Love, The Queer of Labor,” is curated by New York City based artist/curator Yevgeniy Fiks and curator/critic Olga Kopenkina. In “The Work of Love, The Queer of Labor,” queerness is discussed through the lens of class and vice versa. Exhibiting artists are: Angela Beallor, Hugo Gellert, Montague Glover, Noam Gonick, Hagra, William E. Jones, Erik Moskowitz+Amanda Trager, Jaanus Samma, and YES! Association / Föreningen JA!. The exhibition is on view from May 21 – August 27, 2017.

In “The Work of Love, The Queer of Labor,” individual artists and collectives contribute works that represent a desire for liberation through critically engaged connections between class, gender and sexuality. LGBTQI identities are explored from the class perspective in order to re-discover political potentialities in queerness’ countercultural paradigm. By exploring queerness through its relationship with class, curators Fiks and Kopenkina aim to interrogate the possibility of love in a class-based society.  They attempt as well to envision a classless society akin to “affectionate community” built by LGBTQI people.

In today’s global economy the difference between work as a productive force in service of capitalism and labor as a condition of biological life is almost gone. Artists’ creative work, once avant-garde and independent, has become alienated and inseparable from market economy. Likewise, love and sexuality have become abstracted from the site of their enactment. They are no longer a product of biological body, but, instead, generated by techno-bodies impacted by multimedia technologies of global capitalist production.

Is it possible for queer activities, which are driven by “true desire,” not social norms, to restore love and produce new relationships between people? Could these relationships be based on equality of all forms of sexuality, love and labor? Artists who present their works in this exhibition extend this desire for love and personal relationships in a society built on equality and justice rather than exploitation and oppression to all people. The struggle for queer rights is everyone’s struggle!


Yevgeniy Fiks was born in Moscow in 1972 and has been living and working in New York since 1994. He has developed many projects on the post-Soviet dialog in the West, among which are: “Lenin for Your Library?”; “Communist Party USA,” “Communist Guide to New York City,” and “Reading Lenin with Corporations.” He has curated and co-curated exhibitions in New York City, including:  “Monument to Cold War Victory” at The Cooper Union (2014), “The Wayland Rudd Collection” at Winkleman Gallery (2014), and “Future Queer Perfect” at Station Independent Projects (2015).

Olga Kopenkina is a Belarus-born, New York-based independent curator and art critic. Her curatorial projects and exhibitions include: Feminism is Politics!, at Pratt Manhattan gallery, 2016; Future Queer Perfect (co-curated with Yevgeniy Fiks) at Station Independent Project, 2016; Lenin Icebreaker Revisited, Austrian Cultural Forum NY, 2014-2015;It’s not paranoia when they are really after you, film program at apex art, NY, 2007; Russia: Significant Other, Anna Akhmatova Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2006; Post-Diasporas: Voyages and Missions at the First Moscow Biennale, Moscow, 2005. Kopenkina is a contributor to publications such as Art Journal, Moscow Art Magazine, Modern Painters, Afterimage, and others. She teaches at Department of Media, Culture and Communication, in Steinhardt School at New York University.