Reproductive labor is understood as the total of unrecognized and often uncompensated work in a capitalist system that cares
for and maintains others daily. Reproductive labor or „care work“ is associated with the upbringing of children, the care
for elders, for people who are not able to work, self-care, healthcare, housework, and sex work. The division between productive
and „unproductive work“ goes back to the economist Adam Smith and was criticized by the international feminist movement „Wages
for Housework“ in the Seventies that demanded payment for the unwaged domestic work mostly performed by women in the family.
While this is still an issue in contemporary feminism, nowadays, the focus is shifting towards the low-waged labor performed
by mostly female migrant workers and therefore draws the attention more to intersectional discrimination of gender and race
in the work field (Denise Silva de Ferreira, Evelyn Nakano Glenn).
In the seminar, we will investigate „what it means to inscribe social practices that do not produce market commodities into
the wage-form, more narrowly, and into the value-form more broadly“Marina Vishmidt put it. Alongside the controversy arising
from reproductive labor, we will look into different artistic practices, such as Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, Mierle Laderman Ukeles,
Tina Girouard, Senga Nengudi and Jeremy Wade next to others.
During the class, we will visit the art collection of the Angewandte and look for artworks associated with the field of social
reproduction. The students will explore materials and artistic methods related to daily life routines, such as repetition,
self-care, care for others, interaction with objects, digital devices, and robots.