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Reading Group Hosted y Fayen D'Evie and Liang Luscombe: On Laziness

Thursday 7 May, 8am

200 Gertrude Street

200 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

6pm, Thursday 7 May 2015
Studio 18, Gertrude Contemporary

This reading group on laziness is held in conjunction with Hao Guo's current Slide exhibition2 art habits, an occasionally changing work, intended to relaunch a habit of art practice out of a daily habit of phone tapping. The reading group will focus on two texts that espouse the merits of laziness and waiting. We will read Zagreb-based artist Mladen Stilinovic’s essay 'The praise of laziness', and the chapter ‘Penelope’s Insomnia’ from Lewisburg-based author Harold Schweizer’s book On Waiting. 

In our post-Fordist era, in which the borders of work and leisure have been completely eroded, 'The praise of laziness' discusses the importance of non-production within an artistic practice. Complementary to this, the selected chapter from On Waiting considers the relationship between narrative and the act of waiting through an examination of the character Penelope, who spends years waiting for Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey. Schweizer draws together the parallels between the act of reading, writing and waiting, ruminating on the delays and detours that are embedded in these processes. Schweizer describes the way that: 'Literary narratives teach us how to come to the end of waiting and then to wait again, how to weave and unweave our time, how to compose and revise our life. They teach us also that no end, no object of waiting can fulfill our waiting…' Building on these ideas surrounding passing time, 'Penelope's Insomnia' also meditates on the gendered aspects of waiting as rendered in this ancient tale, incorporating responses from a whole range of authors in relation this complex female protagonist and her struggle in delaying her fate.

The convenors, Fayen d'Evie and Liang Luscombe, thank Christina Li for recommending Schweizer's On Waiting. Christina recently launched a collection of stories Stationary, co-edited with Heman Chong, conceived as an opportunity for invited artists and writers to 'take stock in a suspended moment that provides a recess from productive practice.' Published by Spring Workshop, the collection is only being distributed via a gift economy, and features contributions by Quinn Latimer, Nav Haq, Clifford Irving, George Szirtes, Fayen d'Evie and others. Visit www.stationarystories.com to sign up to receive a copy by mail.   

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