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Jim Arendt
South Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2014

Art making is a way for me to explore our changing relationship with work. My research focuses on transitions in macroeconomic structures through the lens of their effects on individual lives, communities, and worker’s relationships to the structures of labor itself.
I’ve paid witness to the demise of opportunities to engage in meaningful work and seen cities ravaged by the absence of industry. As the landscape of work and labor continue to shift around us, I use art making as a way to investigate how the division of labor and alienation from work has impacted individual lives. My early engagement with work that was whole and undivided has left me with a persistent feeling that our present economic configuration has alienated most of us from the finest use of our skills.
Denim's inherent connection to the cycles of work, (from the fields to the factory), provide a material connection to the ubiquity and invisibility of the struggles I portray.

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