The Working Life


Superflex worked with the hypnotist Tommy Rosenkilde and a sophisticated production team to create the short film The Working Life. The hypnotist begins by saying “Listen to my voice. My voice will take you on a journey…” and then progresses through to “Focus on the point between my eyes. This is where your journey begins.” The film runs for just under 10 minutes and addresses the work situation from a therapeutic perspective against the backdrop of current and ongoing economic and labour crisis. A transpersonal self, embodied in the image and voice of a therapist, shares experience of the bliss of working with a community of co-workers with solid labour values and then journeys quickly through to the workplace dystopia of alienation, overwork, slashed pay and panic. University degrees can no longer guarantee work, work hours are increasing, pay is less, and workers are expected to be flexible and available at any time. The artists are concerned with how employment defines identity and how unemployment is structured as necessary to keep wages low. In addressing the ‘wicked’ problem of employment the hypnotist may facilitate some relief or even suggest a way a beyond. The film was produced by Pasha Parts, and commissioned by the Mead Gallery in association with the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, England. Year 2013. It builds on an earlier work called The Financial Crisis in which Superflex address the financial meltdown via therapeutic hypnosis. The guided meditation enables sensations of speculation, power, fear, anxiety and frustration of losing control, economic loss and finally points to the experience of personal disaster.