A Serious Waste of Time: (Non-works in Progress)
A Serious Waste of Time is an exhibition first shown in Leeds in March 2011.
In his first solo exhibition Andy presents a selection of videos, photographs, prints and audio pieces born of four ongoing and intertwined projects. The starting point for each project was a hobby, a spare-time activity or simply slacking off.
Andy’s interests are in the critical potential of play and time outside work. In an era where work creeps into every moment of our lives and even our self-initiated activity risks being instrumentalised by the State, what space is left for thought and action that breaks with the market-led, competitive and essentialist logic of capitalism?
Actions that include regularly cycling along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, swimming in Shipley Pool, walking up the hill to Baildon Moor or playing guitar in a DIY punk band are reframed, translated, expanded and performed in an effort to unpick notions of the authentic ‘post-capitalist’ self.
In seemingly disparate activities recurring themes crop up and linkages are proposed: between Birmingham Grindcore band Napalm Death and Andy’s falconry enthusiast father; the hardcore rhythms that are held in the pre-industrial Bell Pits of Baildon and those performed by DIY musicians that swim; and memories of a ‘home’ in the Scottish Highlands embodied in the landscape of the Aire Valley and uncovered by repetitious journeying.
‘A Serious Waste of Time’ draws these projects into one space to better examine the resonances and discord between them. Whilst autobiographical in the main, the exhibition aims to go beyond a solipsistic self-analysis by proposing that resistance to a capitalist mode of being can be unearthed in the most everyday and innocuous of activities. Such work is never finished, perhaps because it is not best described as work.
‘A Serious Waste of Time’ is realised in partnership with ‘Art in Unusual Spaces’ (a Community Interest Company using vacant spaces in Leeds for artistic purposes) and ‘Leeds Creative Timebank’ (an organisation creating a non-cash economy for the creative community in the city) with support from the University of Leeds and Igloo.