• Adrian Melis, The Value of Absence. Excuses to be absent from your work center, 2009
  • Adrian Melis, The Value of Absence. Excuses to be absent from your work center, 2009

Indifference, no motivation and dissatisfaction from socialist production system created such situation in Cuba that employees commonly use excuses for their absences at work. It is possible because of flexible and understanding approach of state-owned enterprises towards their employees. The artist is interested in recording creativity of employees making up explanations, in order to avoid working. He contacted many of these workers – majority of them use phone calls to explain their absence, because it is easier way to make up stories presented to the employer.

The artist’s goal was to gather, as may excuses as possible – he achieved it by buying the right to record these phone calls. He paid such amount of money for each excuse, which was equivalent to a daily wage, if the employee would have come to work instead of ducking out of it. This way, the artist created a group of people, who – performing no productive actions – received exactly the same salaries, which the state would have paid them for their work. Excuses may have referred to one day up to one month or even longer time. Longer absences might have been explained in many ways: in order to have one, three or even more weeks off, the employee had to use one or e few explanations. All Excuses were paid after completion of absence period.

Year: 2009-2010
Medium: video installation: DVD, table, chair, monitor, dvd player, documents, telephone
Format: 10:20 (video running time), 72x110x60 cm (table), 110x45x50 cm (chair), 35x40x45 cm (monitor)

Acquisition: purchase
Ownership form: collection
Source: ADN Art Space
Index: MSN: 4300-6/2011
Acquisition date:
Financing source: Purchased with the support of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

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