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Between July 5th and 9th 2000 the villages of Werkleitz and Tornitz and the small town of Barby, in the countryside of Saxony-Anhalt, formerly GDR, will host the 4th Werkleitz Biennale. Under the title "real[work]", the biggest art and media festival of the new federal states this year will pick up on a particularly hot topic: the continuous both regional and global discussion on the shifting notion of work. New attitudes towards work and new models of organisation change the ways of socialisation and the fabric of society itself. real[work] is aiming to investigate these changes in confrontation with a cultural role model.

real[work] touches upon a central question in the region: unemployment rates in Saxony-Anhalt are the highest in Germany. The Biennale directs the topic of work also towards a changing status of art, redefined by economic globalization, administrational deregulation, the influence of an ever-expanding entertainment industry, and the new parameters of the WWW.

This year, six international guest curators have invited 80 artists from 17 countries. Following a period of planning, the next phase of the project will be the realisation of some very ambitious projects.

Artists invited in the area of visual arts are working in close contact with the municipal community and, in some cases, with the local population. The ambitious temporary installation of the two "Documenta X" participants, Adam Page and Eva Hertzsch, exemplifies this approach. A Tornitz family house is getting transformed with the addition of a make believe high-tech facade, giving it the appearance of a successful service center. The Hamburg artist Nana Petzet will combine her approach to recycling with the know-how of improvising technology in the former GDR. The New York based artist Nils Norman, on the contrary, develops an urban planners vision of the local community in 2050.

The performances take place at significant sites within the communities. Indonesian artist, Arahmaiani, has focused on the work of ethnic conflict and military action in East Timor and Indonesia as a form of politically legitimized extermination, in a larger matrix of international capitalism. Other contributions explore the significance of the use of cheap immigrant labor in traditional sites of production, the position of art in the context of social responsibility, the relations between art, daily life and "real work".

The areas of film and video offer a wide variety of views on the topic work, including the glorification of work in the former Soviet Union, as well as the question of "leisure-work" in the techno- and fitness culture. The documentary film maker Harun Farocki takes on the influence of managerial training on the psychological reality of work relationships. John Baldessari reflects on economically and culturally pointless work,- by teaching the alphabet to a plant.

In the area of the internet, five contributions have been chosen through a competition. In addition to these works, guest lecturers will present single projects, which seem to bear significance for the development of new work contexts and the tapping of unusual production resources. These include the commercialisation of private life by webcams, or the topic of free speech, censorship and copyright on the internet.

real[work] is sponsored by the Kultusministerium of Saxony-Anhalt, the Regierungspraesidium Halle; Kunstfonds e.V., Bonn; Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung GmbH, Leipzig; Stiftung Kulturfonds, Berlin.

More information on the current state of the Biennale-preparation, the concept of the curatorial work and on the artists invited to participate is available at: http://www.werkleitz.de/realwork.

For further information, press material and the Biennale-programme please contact:

Festival direction:

Peter Zorn: Tel.: +49 39298 / 675-0, Fax: +49 39298 / 675-55,

email: pz@werkleitz.de

Press service:

Joachim Penzel: Tel. / Fax: +49 345 / 5510618,

email: Joachimpenzel@aol.com

Press release 3

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