DOI: 10.1111/gwao.13094 ISSN: 0968-6673

Useless bodies? Exploring the ethical potential of art

Daniela Pianezzi
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Gender Studies


This paper examines the ethical value of artistic artifacts in challenging the unequal valuation of working bodies with a focus on the contemporary art exhibition ‘Useless bodies?’ by Danish artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. Drawing on Judith Butler's work and posthuman theory, particularly Braidotti's contributions, the paper argues that this exhibition exemplifies how art can foster an ethics of interdependency, one that both critiques dynamics of misrecognition and imagines alternative futures. Furthermore, the paper proposes that this affirmative and critical ethics provides theoretical and methodological foundations for work and organization studies, prompting new questions about the significance of embodiment, esthetics, and artifacts for conducting (ethical) research.

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