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Art That Understands What It's Like to Work

Overtime: The Art of Work looks back at life on the clock over the course of two centuries.
Agnieszka Kurant, Untitled, 2014.
Agnieszka Kurant, Untitled, 2014.Courtesy Albright-Knox Art Gallery

The second floor of Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery currently greets patrons with an empty conveyor belt moving through, and back around, a giant mirror.

"Contemporary capitalism trades in nonexistence," Agnieszka Kurant, the artist behind the piece, told ArtForum in 2013. "Seventy percent of money in this world is phantom—it exists virtually, on computers—but still produces physical consequences." Much the same tone is at play in Kurant's contribution to Overtime: The Art of Work, a new collection of artwork that examines the struggles of laborers across nations and eras.