Kajsa Dahlberg

Reach, Grasp, Move, Position, Apply Force

Kajsa Dahlberg (b. 1973 in Gothenburg, living in Berlin) in her artistic practice reflects the media of video, text and sound as well as their history of reception with regard to the construction and communication of narrative structures in the context of political representation, history and identity. For her solo exhibition at the n.b.k. Showroom, Dahlberg produced the new film work Reach, Grasp, Move, Position, Apply Force, which deals with the issue of labor, putting at the center the phenomenon of time as a key point of negotiation in the confrontation of the needs of workers and employers. Also on a formal level, the examination of time, with respect to video as a time-based medium, is reflected and related to the time experienced by the viewers. The starting point for Dahlberg’s work is the Methods-Time Measurement, a system that was developed in the mid 20th century and that is universally used for optimizing mass production processes as part of the planning of manual workflows. By means of juxtaposing the found footage material, which shows early 20th century scientific investigations of the human motor function, with interviews conducted by the artist herself, Dahlberg outlines dystopian trends in the world of work at a global level. In the interviews, different players have their say, reflecting the impact of the working time optimization on the working conditions in times of a neoliberal economic system and technological progress. It becomes apparent that the formalization of work and the concept of the service function not only affect the labor market, but for example also penetrate the education system and thus describe phenomena in society as a whole. Dahlberg also reveals, with the help of her interviewees, mechanisms and methods applied in practice by employers for the maximization of production and profit on a global scale.