Body Work for Working Bodies (2020)
Private participatory project
Collaboration with Sarah Maag
Body Work for Working Bodies is a participatory project that I created when in residence at Pioneer Works, a nonprofit art space in Brooklyn, NY. I facilitated Pioneer Works' hiring of massage therapist Sarah Maag to provide free massages to its install crew and construction workers during the installation of an art exhibition and the renovation of the building.
This work takes interest in the institution as an organizational “body.” How might we consider the bodies within this body? How does the institution dictate what a laborer does with their body—or what is worth doing with one’s body? Which laboring bodies are on display to the public and which are not? Where might we locate the muscle of the institution? The aches and pains?
This intervention poses an unlikely moment, where those who do not receive healthcare benefits are paid to rest and receive care during the workday, tending to aches, pains, and injuries incurred on the job. A proposition of re-orientation, this participatory performance invites laborers to become horizontal and passive in a context that typically asks them to exert and strain.