THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES and CHANGE YOUR CAREER! utilise the minimalist black text on white background with jazz accompaniment that has become the trademark form of YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES over the last twenty years. The idea of Sweat Equity, this year’s SCAPE theme which explores the effects of labour and capital on the body, is at the heart of YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES’ work. Both works included in this year’s SCAPE season poetically explore the possibility of personal agency and fulfilment in a world where systemic forces, particularly late-stage capitalism, seem to stifle and stunt interpersonal connection and the pursuit of love. Both works adopt the imperative language of advertising to blend in and offer an acerbic alternative.
“The struggle continues!” is a slogan that has been used throughout history in a wide-range of liberation movements to galvanise support and encourage activism, usually followed by “Victory is certain!” In THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES, YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES re-contextualise this weighty piece of rhetoric to highlight the everyday struggle to love romantically, physically, and openly. It is a tongue-in-cheek ode to the free love doctrine of the 1960s and ’70s with an urgent and compelling message.
CHANGE YOUR CAREER! responds directly to the neoliberal fantasy that the rich and powerful have achieved their position through a process that anyone can understand and undertake yet is entirely well-deserved. This short video mimics those champions of “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” by imploring the viewer to change their career. The brevity of the video contributes to the apparent ease with which we are supposedly able to upgrade our lives; the text becomes a short and simple guide that if followed could lead to untold happiness!