Work shall set you free

Arbeit Macht Frei, by CR/MM/SRS, oils on board, commenced 2005 finished 2014, 54.5 x 74.5 cm"Arbeit macht frei" is a German phrase meaning "Work shall set you free" found above the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

More than 70 years later, almost everyone is an inmate of the global concentration camp of modern human culture. Work doesn't make us free, it enslaves us.

A person at work is a person with no identity. Ze is not a person, just a uniform, a suit. A person at work has no mind of zer own, no brains, no head. As the painting suggests, the body of a person at work ends at the neck.

The corporatisation of human life and culture proceeds at an accelerating rate. One of the results is the destruction of our humanity itself. Another is the destruction of the planet.

A person at work is a psychopath with no personal values, just a fake but hearty enthusiasm for the values of the corporation. Every morning, when we walk into the workplace, we leave our personal values at the door. We're all psychopaths, these days, or sociopaths if you're into labels. We repress and suppress our personhood, our empathy, at the behest of the employer. That's why there are cruel red eyes in the lapels of a pin-striped suit. They are the insane eyes of one who has lost zer personhood.

And yet, as Jesus is said to have said, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."

And here we are, 2000 years later, toiling and spinning for dear life, and not liking it very much at all.

Painting by SRS, oils on board, 54.5 x 74.5 cm.