February 26 — April 3, 2021

rotten work

Matthew Whitenack



Conduit Gallery is honored to announce rotten work, a solo exhibition of new works by New York based artist, Matthew Whitenack.

1. work is rotten (contemptible, worthless, unnatural, soul sucking) for most of the folks doing jobs today.

“Some of the women learned from birds and winds to scatter seeds. Some of the men learned from wolves and eagles to hunt. But none of them ever worked. And everyone knows it. The armored Christians who later “discovered” these communities knew that these people did not work, and this knowledge grated on Christian nerves… These Christians, early time-and-motion engineers, couldn’t tell when play ended and work began.” - Fredy Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!

2. all work is rotting. In the sense that everything is in a state of decay, the universe is expanding, entropy, memory fades, even bold gestures are fragile, caught in the crosshairs of time... Ideas are fragile too, especially now in this quick, impatient, fully satiated, and unwise time we live in when we don’t sing songs about our ancestors or believe magical stories. The stuff, the things that we leave around or hold up to the light are simply evidence of our actions, clues about how we chose to live, remnants from our rituals and ceremonies, and nothing more. Sometimes we drag these things into art spaces so that other people may see what type of behavior we’ve been engaged in.. what type of thinking.

“Thanks to our professors, we barely have access to our dangerous, demonic, possessed ancestors who thought fruits and nuts were not the real things but trivia, who abandoned themselves to visions, myths and ceremonies..”

3. artwork is a type of anti-work as we know it. artwork, or the artists’ life, is play, it is hopping, and singing, and rolling around in the dirt.. and it is an attempt at transcendence. It is simply doing what is most natural to our being rather than chipping pennies out of a rock all day for the boss.

“When the mother shares the experience, she also shares the thousands of generations of vision and insight, the wisdom that helped make her experience so meaningful, so frightfully profound. She doesn’t apply chalk to a blackboard. She doesn’t write a textbook. She hops. She sings. She begins the ‘lurid dance’ the ‘orgy’ that will one day terrify the Christians”

Matthew Whitenack is a New York based artist that was born in Dallas, TX in 1986.

Artists in this Exhibition

Artist Video