an artist is always working


Performance duration

an artist is always working is a performance piece by Pedro Barreiro that started on November 11, 2020, in Lisbon, and will continue uninterruptedly for an undetermined period. It is also a conceptual operation whose principles are the possibility of continuing to have and to produce ideas and the understanding of the artist’s work as a permanent and continuous activity.

It will be possible to follow this work by accessing this website (, where the artist’s geographic location is being synchronized in real time - allowing every potential spectator to know where the performance is happening - and where all of the moments in which the artist has an idea are signaled, whenever he considers it relevant enough to do so. Graphic records will also be generated, showing that the artist had an idea in a certain place and at a certain time, as well as periodic reports with accounting data on the variables that are at stake here: time - space - ideas.

Thus, and besides the viewing through the website, the contact with this piece can also be done in person, whether by voyeuristic observation of what the artist is doing, or in direct dialogue, possibilities guaranteed by the real-time indication of the geographic coordinates in which the artist is located.

This piece concentrates the power of all the ideas to come. As some of these ideas are manifested, they will be registered by the artist and, from then on, they will be subordinated to the effects of time, chance, criteria and feasibility in order to be, or not, developed and continued outside this piece’s scope, as independent objects.

Here, the work of art is neither the artist nor the artist's life. The work of art is created by the artist who names it, creating it while performing it. The work of art is not the sum of the artist's ideas but the way in which the possibility of continuing to have ideas is enunciated and performed, that is, the work of art here only happens by the possibility of continuing to make it happen.

The artists’ differential capital is their ideas. The operativeness of this capital is given by the artists’ ability to formalize some of these ideas as objects that result from their activity, in order to participate in the art system. In an artist is always working, the capital, the operation and the result are presented as the same thing.

Pedro Barreiro
Lisbon, 2020
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