85_PF01_Clintberg_DesearchRepartment_Corporate Creativity Workshops for Art
Desearch Repartment Corporate Creativity Workshops for Art (Motivate: Stop Torturing Your Selfie), 2015.
Photo : © Desearch Repartment

To “de-search” implies an inversion of research methods. It is the chosen strategy of the collaborative entity called Desearch Repartment. The artists responsible for the work, who choose to remain unnamed, explain, “Desearch is a methodology that satirizes the contemporary art world, in which we emulate a neoliberal exercise of privilege through the removal of facts, context and responsibility.” Their Corporate Creativity Workshops for Art at articule, in Montréal, in February 2015 drew on tropes of cor­porate team building, motivational speaking, and crafting, blended with references to pop psychology, social practice, and the cult of celebrity endemic to contemporary art. One dialectic that they explored was the use of “captivation” in art fairs and the prison complex. Participants, who were invited to don cut-out masks bearing the faces of pop culture icons (including Mark Zuckerberg, Marina Abramović, and Oprah Winfrey), completed social media-style quizzes with questions innocuous, arbitrary, and political by turns (“What drink are you?,” “What do you like about neoliberalism?”). Through ad-hoc craft projects participants were asked to relate a subjective story using emoticon stickers adhered to a paper cut-out smartphone, hyperbolizing the voluntary surrender of data and images inherent to social media. Competing teams designed garments that responded to themes such as “Hydrate,” “Property,” and “Blood” using supplies from dollar store and charity shops. A corporate logo wall banner was positioned near the exit, perfect for taking parting selfies to be posted to Instagram and Facebook, and therefore virally contributing to one ­system Desearch Repartment intends to critique.

You must have a valid Digital or Premium subscription to access this content.

Subscribe to Esse or log in now to read the full text!

Log in
This article also appears in the issue 85 – Taking a Stance - Taking a Stance

Suggested Reading