George Lynch is a writer; she is interested in work, in particular the work of organising, and the organising of work. Her focus is precarious work: casualised and insecure (zero-hour, freelance) contracts. Because of the way we live and the way in which the way we live is organised (precariously), being interested in work also means being interested in vulnerability, anxiety, insecurity, serial alienation - the conditions under which we are able to show up (for work, for each other) at all. Her work tries to navigate the intimacy of the impersonal and the public. Her writing practice coincides and is always preceded by her involvement in community and workplace organising, in which context she is consistently concerned with how it is or may ever be possible to organise our way out of the problem of collective singularity. She has refused to use this platform to share her work.
I respect and greatly appreciate the work of the MA Writing programme staff and students, and others in the college, in striving to make the virtual degree show a reality, and I am grateful to all of them for their generosity, curiosity, and support over the last two years. However, I do not wish to use the RCA’s virtual degree show platform to share my work, which proceeds from a commitment to refuse the solutions that neoliberal institutions offer to problems they are fundamentally incapable of solving, because of the conditions of their own continuation. I do not propose that non-participation is an ideal action, and am uncertain of a great deal; I am certain only that to situate my work in this context would be absurd.
The RCA is a failed institution. If an institution cannot provide job security for its teaching staff, chooses to outsource its maintenance staff, but is able to provide year-on-year pay rises to its rector, it is a failed institution. If an art school tells its international students that it will report them to the Home Office for failure to pay fees, in the middle of a global pandemic, while capitalising on claimed proximity to radical thinkers of the border, the violence of the nation-state, and anti-imperialism, then it is not only a morally abhorrent institution, it is a failed institution, too. If an art school which charges tuition fees vastly in excess of the government postgraduate loan offers no support to students who face financial difficulties while studying, allows classes to glut to sizes which fundamentally compromise the viability of its tutorial- and seminar-centric teaching model, and structures timetables with no consideration of students’ need to hold down jobs, then it is a failed institution. If the RCA cannot recognise the irony of its public espousal of “Black Lives Matter” coincident with its hiring of a white man as its head of ‘inclusivity’, and the dismissal of its casualised Black teaching staff, then it is not only an embarrassment, it is a failed institution. The RCA may well long continue on the path that it is on, but it ought to made clear that it is a fool’s errand to go looking for art in the direction of capital.