by Vesna Pavlovic

(2003 Artist-in-Residence, Serbia)
December 10, 2003 – December 30, 2003
Opening December 10, 2003 6-8 PMA photographic investigation of the working life and environment for American office space.

Casual Friday is the first essay in a broader body of work by Vesna Pavlovic

a Pavlovic titled American Collection, a long-term project which will result as a series of photographic essays and texts on different aspects of American living today.

Downtowns become visually striking ghost towns on Friday nights, when their “part-time” inhabitants leave. Paradoxically, offices function as intimate spaces for their workers, but only for the limited period of time, during the working week. The photographic approach will be based on capturing the images of office space during the after-work hours, when the space is left to itself.

The project aims to explore two aspects of the American office:

1) The working life and environment of American office space, its content and the feel. Many Americans spend the majority of their daily lives in their working space. Do they feel they work too many hours?

2) Office art and design of the office. What is the “kind” of taste that interior of the offices was arranged with? Who is the “curator” of the content of the office space? How much and does it inspire or enhance the working performance?

The Chase Manhattan Plaza building has been chosen as one of the most striking architectural pieces in downtown Manhattan, for its vast lobby space as well as the challenging interior decoration.

Casual Friday will consist of several layers, only one of which will be photographic. Audio interviews, drawings and writings will constitute the other layers.

Collaborator and architect Srdjan Weiss, will address these themes through drawings of the layout and contents of the “perfect” office. He will do so through drawings, and will integrate into his work research on the history of the subject building, as well as information related to the taste and design of the architects who originally worked on the building.

Writer Casey Smith, will explore these topics through writing. His writing will not be an interpretation of images and work presented in Casual Friday, but rather it will act as another layer in the essay. He will work with four Washington, DC-based artists who will also write on topics related to the idea of the office space in their own city.

Sound (voice overs) will be another important component of this visual research as several interviews will be conducted with people who work in the building. In these interviews, they will be asked to share experiences of time spent in the building, and also to reflect on the decoration surrounding them in their office environment.

An interactive web site updated with materials created will be used as a tool throughout the working process. The idea behind the virtual archives is to have a crossover of perspectives, coming both from a foreigner gazing at the society, as well as from people immersed in the system of American living.

Vesna Pavlovic bio

website ::