“I’d Rather Get Fired Than Quit.”
August 26 – October 2, 2010
Blue Star LAB
Featuring Ed Saavedra and Justin Parr
“I’d rather get fired than quit.” is a two-part exhibition presented by Blue Star LAB and FL!GHT.
A few months ago, one of our favorite artists inquired if and how it would be possible for a person to abandon fine art altogether.
“You can keep your wine-and-cheese crowd,” he announced on Facebook, only a week or so before confirming his participation in this exhibition. Apparently exiting the “art game” isn’t as simple as renouncing your citizenship, but it must still be possible.
Are there twelve steps that include acknowledging a problem that also happens to be an INCURABLE affliction (tempered only by communal chain-smoking and “serenity” prayers)?
For most of us, the urge to make art is something primal like the drive to eat or fuck, so hypnosis or acupuncture would be a waste of time/money. Electroshock therapy seems too much of a scary, unethical relic, and graphic design too slippery of a slope.
An office job might have been an effective remedy many decades ago, but today anything/everything is an art material (e.g. break-room condensation). Maybe the only way out is “termination,” but we would strongly advise against playing in the street. You’ll risk being labeled a “performance artist” if VIA helps end your career.
I’d rather get fired than quit. is a two-part exploration of an artist’s options (or lack thereof) and the creative freedom unleashed when utter failure is an acceptable (or even a preferred) outcome.
Ed Saavedra Justin Parr
“First of all, don’t beat yourself up. As I said, getting fired can happen to the best of us. Don’t dwell on it. Instead, focus on what you are going to do next and how you are going to find another job. Keeping in mind that another hurdle – the stigma of being fired – has just been added to your job search. That said, there are ways you can address this issue and put it in at least a neutral, if not a positive, light.”
-Alison Doyle, “You’re Fired: How to Handle a Termination”
“They call me ocioso. I’d rather get fired than quit.
I get unemployment, you work and we making the same shit.”
-Immortal Technique, “Obnoxious” from Revolutionary, Vol. 2
“You’ve lived too long in New York, I told her. There are other worlds. Other kinds of dreams. Dreams in which failure is feasible. Honorable. Sometimes even worth striving for. Worlds in which recognition is not the only barometer of brilliance or human worth. There are plenty of warriors that I know and love, people far more valuable than myself, who go to war each day, knowing in advance that they will fail. True, they’re less successful in the most vulgar sense of the word, but by no means less fulfilled.
The only dream worth having, I told her, is to dream that you will live while you’re alive and die only when you’re dead.”
“Firms that wish for an employee to exit of his or her own accord, but do not wish to pursue firing or forced resignation, may degrade the employee’s working conditions, hoping that he or she will leave ‘voluntarily.’ The employee may be moved to a different geographical location, assigned to an undesirable shift, given too few hours if part time, demoted (or relegated to a menial task), or assigned to work in uncomfortable conditions. Other forms of manipulation may be used, such as being unfairly hostile to the employee, and punishing him or her for things that are deliberately overlooked with other employees.
Often, these tactics are done so that the employer won’t have to fill out termination papers in jurisdictions without at-will employment. In addition, with a few exceptions, employees who voluntarily leave generally cannot collect unemployment.”
-Wikipedia.com, “Termination of employment”
“I’m freakin’ serious…I’m done sucking and all that crap, I’m just gonna quit…for good….I dunno, it’s just that my art’s bland and will never improve…So really, I dunno anymore…I’m gonna take off my stuff and everything tomorrow…”
-Anonymous online artist
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
“Many artists face rejection, lack of interest in their art, ignorance of what ‘hoops’ they must ‘jump through’ in order to make it as an artist, and generally lots less interest in art than in sports. Given all this, the rate of artists dropping out and quitting art is high.”
-The Urban Art Retreat’s homepage
“Just once it might be instructive to pretend you’re accepting an award for failure, just to see who you would thank.”
“If you’ve ever worked at an office, it’s very odd when people get fired. You hear rumors. Speculation. Then the official explanation. Then you never see/mention them again. Back to work.”