I’m going to take a detour on the way to São Paulo, to visit a town in Minas Gerais called Passa Tempo. Among other things, Passa Tempo is known for the craft of tapetes de arraiolos.
A craft is usually something that you do by hand. An exercise in making something. A hobby is usually something you do more for interest or pleasure than you do for financial reward or for profit.
I was thinking about how maybe we could use our free time to craft ourselves different kinds of things. Is it really the purpose of free time to offer us rest and recuperation so that we may be prepared to do more work?
Also thinking about hourly wages vs. the price of goods. How much time goes into a thing in order that it is produced? How much of your own labor time does it take to gain the capital to purchase something? What can you do with your free time that does not require dispensing what you earned from your not-free time?
It’s nice to think about luxury goods. But it’s also nice sometimes to think about goods that imitate luxury goods. It’s worth thinking about what you really want and what things really mean. Think about what you desire. For who and what do you work? Can time belong to somebody? If someone takes something that you make, do they also take the time you used to make the thing?
It’s interesting to think about art as a leisure activity and pastime as well as a commodity and a signifier. I think that usually the works in art are radically inadequate. Could we look at making art as work? Should we judge art by its methods and principles?
Sometimes I feel that we need more interesting things. Fetish things, or things that mean something and do not just replicate other things. If you use a certain tool in order to make something, you should be able to use the same tool in order to dismantle the same thing.
Photo: Andrew de Freitas
Courtesy of the artist and Solo Shows, São Paulo