ARBEITSARENA or Common Sense Plaza

community based art, 2021-2022.



Common sense is not a given. It is constantly created and recreated through multiple interactions which occur on diverse levels among individuals, collectives and communities. Common sense is a genuine product of society that is shaped in the tension between dominant politics, and reactions to them. It is a place of permanent struggle.

During the several weeks in June, Marianenplaz in Graz hosted and challenged various approaches to common sense regarding very basic concepts of everyday living: work, food, housing, education, communication, etc. In those days the square was transformed into a space of encounter, a space where it was possible to reconsider different modes and modalities of (non)fitting, folding and unfolding them into different senses and nonsenses. A place of spontaneous debate, work and play welcomed all individuals considering themselves erroneous, invisible, losers or collateral damage of the “common sense”.

During one week of June 2021, the arena was visited by various groups and individuals, who thematised the issue of work in public space. These were members of the unemployed association which held a trade union performance, a language school for women from Islamic countries which held a public class, representatives of the artists’ association who spoke about the social status of artists in society, regular scoolars, migrants and beneficiaries of the nearby Red Cross, lecturers who held a public lecture on the labor history of Graz or thematised human working hours, children who gathered every day (some of them were in the arena and celebrated their birthdays there) and residents of nearby buildings. The day always ended with music chosen by those who used the arena that day, to which we all enjoyed together.



Production: rotor – Association for Contemporary Arts, Graz, Austria, 2021.