public performance / 120 min / 2018
merchant city, glasgow
You will need:
A tin bucket
Filled with clean water
A bright neon cloth
Your work uniform
Go and clean public art
made by female artists.
Idea: This concept was developed for an open call by the sculpture park Graz last year, a place where only 15.3% of the installed art works are by female artists. To focus on the topic of invisible work (by artists/women), there was this urge to clean all sculptures by female artists within an 8h work day. Normal working hours do not exceed 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week. The fair payment for such work per hour would be around 40 Euros. The minimum wage in Austria is only 8,84 Euros and a bit lower in the UK. For the performance/work I also would have charged a fee, I would have earned 70,72 Euros per day. Especially in performance art unpaid labour is often expected and the question of how a performance can or should be acquired, is often not discussed. I would like to draw attention to this lack of transparency regarding work and payment in regards to female work.
The submission was declined.
Execution: With Glasgow being an industrial city and having a lot of comissioned public art work by male artists, I wanted to draw attention to the few by female artists. I have selected five sculptures in and around Merchant City referencing the laborious history of the area. The sculpural object is only treated with water, first brushed off or rubbed and, depending on the surface, also polished, both with a cloth. The cleaning movements follow the surface, this action of caring draws new Focus to the sculpture and the act of working (in art).
Liz Peden - Gorbals Boys (Cumberland Street)
Jacqueline Donachie - Slow Down (Grendyke Street)
Margaret Findlay & Edith Burnet Hughes - Mercat Cross (Trongate, Gallowgate)
Shona Kilnoch - Thinking of Bella (Italian Centre)
Louise Crawford & Ian Alexander - Dug-out Canoe Found AD 1871 (Tontine Lane)
text in collaboration with Isabel Thul: https://decoratingdissidence.com/2019/09/29/performance-cleaning-her/