Apparatus 22 – “ART IS WORK”


Apparatus 22

vitrine presentation

Apparatus 22 – “ART IS WORK”

NICC is very pleased to present “ART IS WORK” by Apparatus 22
opening Friday 25th of February at 6 pm
in collaboration with Kunstenpunt

“ART IS WORK” (2011- ongoing)
Through the texts inscribed on the two “ART IS WORK” uniforms for artists and curators, the work of Apparatus 22 opens crucial conversations about the recognition of artistic and curatorial work and continues a long-term commitment of the art collective to set in motion processes of change.

“ART IS WORK” has Tuta as a starting point – an overall, ambitious piece of clothing, designed a century ago by Italian designer and artist Thayaht well known for his involvement in the Italian Futurist movement. It is part of a series of Apparatus 22 works that analyze ways in which art, politics, and economics made use of fashion and clothing over time to build Utopian programs.

Apparatus 22 offers a new use and a new mission for Tuta: the jumpsuit becomes a tool for calling into discussion the working dynamics from the art sphere in contemporary society, oftentimes defined by a precariousness that escapes sight, by exploitation and self-exploitation.

The recognition and monetary pay for the work of artists and curators—or, more often, the lack of this recognition and its quantification—becomes the central theme in two sets of statement-uniforms to be used at openings, the most celebratory moment for artistic / curatorial work.
Exchange at NICC
Through a process typical for gift economy exchanges in the pilot version 2021-2022, “ART IS WORK – Voices of a Community” is distributing a number of 222 empowering uniforms for artists and curators from several international scenes. Therefore, also in NICC in Brussels the Apparatus 22 uniforms and their activist ethos become the currency for developing a video archive of the community, and a pretext for dialogue.

The trade-off is simple: in exchange for a uniform from the 3 available NICC (Brussels), those who enter this relationship have to answer one of the three questions:

*Why do you think art / curating is work? /

*Why is contemporary art vital for society? /

*Do you have a dream relating to / do you imagine new support structures for art? (maybe beyond money)

“ART IS WORK” is conceived and evolves in a framework of solidarity and care, offering an emancipatory instrument and the chance of exchange—understood as a dialogue of multiple voices.

Apparatus 22 is a transdisciplinary art collective founded in January 2011 by current members Erika Olea, Maria Farcas, Dragos Olea together with Ioana Nemes (1979 – 2011) in Bucharest, Romania.  Beginning with 2015 they are working between Bucharest, Brussels and SUPRAINFINIT utopian universe.

They see themselves as a collective of daydreamers, citizens of many realms, researchers, poetic activists and (failed) futurologists interested in exploring the intricate relationships between economy, politics, gender studies, social movements, religion and fashion in order to understand contemporary society.

The work of Apparatus 22  was presented in exhibitions at La Biennale di Venezia 2013 (IT), MUMOK, Vienna (AT), BOZAR, Brussels (BE), Museion, Bolzano (IT), Kunsthalle Wien (AT), Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles (BE), Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (DE), Contemporary Art Museum (MNAC), Bucharest (RO), La Triennale di Milano (IT), TRAFO Gallery, Budapest (HU), Futura, Prague (CZ), Ujazdowski Castle – CCA, Warsaw (PL), Survival Kit festival, LCCA Riga (LV), Autostrada Bienniale Prizren(XK), CIVA, Bruxelles (BE); performances at MAK, Vienna (AT), Steirischer Herbst, Graz (AT), Kunsthal Gent (BE), SMAK Gent (BE) etc.


The Pilot version of ART IS WORK – Voices of a Community is possible thanks to the generous support offered by the main partners:



and additional support from Kunstenpunt.  Kunstenpunt, in the context of ‘Correct remuneration and fair practices in visual arts’

Special thanks: add, atelier Persona, KILOBASE BUCHAREST, Family Servais Collection, Théo-Mario Coppola and NICC
Rue Lambert Crickx 1, 1070 Brussels
opening 25.02 at 6 pm – 10 pm
25.02 – 13.03

NICC Vitrine