A Window and a Basement: Negotiating Hospitality at La Galerie Des Locataires and Podroom–The Working Community of Artists

The text proposes a comparative reading of two self-organized projects of the 1970s, Podroom — the Working Community of Artists, founded in 1978 by a group of artists in Zagreb, and La Galerie des Locataires, founded in 1972 in Paris by art historian Ida Biard. The analysis addresses the Issue: of work/labor as one of the key preoccupations of both projects, situating it within the theoretical perspectives that define the crisis of Fordist labor in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as its resolution in the transition to the post-Fordist era with its emphasis on immaterial labor, keeping in mind the specificities this transition implied in the context of Western capitalism and socialist self-management in Yugoslavia. Since confronting these questions in the examples of the two discussed projects involved primarily a search for autonomous and non-servile spaces — for art, work and life — they are examined here within an overarching conceptual framework of hospitality as discussed by Jacques Derrida.

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