Folklore of Labor
July 7-August 28
Embedded with autobiographical references, “Derek Courtney: Folklore of Labor” addresses the human and environmental costs of labor practices in the United States.
Growing up in rural West Virginia, his heritage is wedded to the deterioration of communities and people through historically problematic factory practices. Courtney’s varied work draws connections to larger concerns of the degradation of human bodies and the historical misperception of the golden age of coal. Further examining this complex narrative, the artist questions the individual costs “doing business” and the ways the human body is an expensable resource for corporations.
Mixing mediums, images—like an ecosystem—are recirculated and reworked bringing up real realities of the overt violence of manual labor, and a reëvaluation of actual/perceived history of the working class in America.
“Derek Courtney: Folklore of Labor” is curated by Alex Priest and organized by the Omaha Public Library.