In 2004 ten new countries became members of the European Union. This led to a new wave of migration from the countries of the former Eastern Bloc. Unemployed professionals and skilled workers were filling vacancies in agriculture, food manufacturing, hospitality and other industries – performing dull duties in low-paid jobs, which British citizens did not wish to carry out. Commenting and reflecting upon the experience of migrant workers in the UK, Jürgenson developed an interactive installation that invited audiences to participate in the work within the gallery setting.
Pop music in the factory environment is common. While manufacturing and food packing workers have to listen to this music, broadcast with the aim of increasing productivity; dancing, singing and eating would be inappropriate in this environment. Within the exhibition Go West! the audience was invited to sing and dance along with the karaoke video projection, whilst simultaneously hearing the noise of working machines from the film Glory to Capitalism!, which was projected in the same space.
Olga Jürgenson is a multidisciplinary artist, working and exhibiting internationally. Her most recent diverse and multilayered projects comment on humankind’s past and present to propose visions of our ‘utopian’ future; they offer female perspectives on the legacy of Russian Cosmists and their followers, applying aspects of the Human Condition to their theories.
Olga was a participant in significant group exhibitions globally, including 56th Venice Biennial, MANIFESTA 10, Liverpool, Moscow and Ural biennials. She was awarded numerous grants and awards from several European foundations, in 2011 was nominated for Kandinsky Prize (Moscow, Russia). Some of her recent solo exhibitions were at the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia (2013), New Hall Art Collection, University of Cambridge, UK (2014), Espronceda Centre for Arts and Culture, Barcelona, Spain (2018).
Olga's works are in state and private collections across the world, including The State Russian Museum, National Centre for Contemporary Art (Russia), Oulu Art Museum (Finland), The University of Cambridge (UK). Olga curated the National Pavilion of Mauritius at the 57th Venice Biennale, she advises on the art programme at Pushkin House in London (UK).