A Fair Day’s Work

Performance: 8 hours at Nine Dot Gallery, Worcester, Massachusetts, 2016

 

Chun Hua Catherine Dong turns a light on and off and stamps PAID on paper every minute from 9:00AM to 5:00PM

Chun Hua Catherine Dong turns a light on and off and stamps PAID on paper every minute from 9:00AM to 5:00PM

Chun Hua Catherine Dong turns a light on and off and stamps PAID on paper every minute from 9:00AM to 5:00PM

Chun Hua Catherine Dong turns a light on and off and stamps PAID on paper every minute from 9:00AM to 5:00PM

Chun Hua Catherine Dong turns a light on and off and stamps PAID on paper every minute from 9:00AM to 5:00PM

Chun Hua Catherine Dong turns a light on and off and stamps PAID on paper every minute from 9:00AM to 5:00PM

Chun Hua Catherine Dong turns a light on and off and stamps PAID on paper every minute from 9:00AM to 5:00PM

Chun Hua Catherine Dong turns a light on and off and stamps PAID on paper every minute from 9:00AM to 5:00PM

I sit still in front of a desk, there are a lamp, clock, stamp, and 480 pieces of blank paper on the desk. I watch the clock: when the clock finishes its one minute circle, I turn on the light, stamp “ PAID” on a piece of paper, and throw it on the floor. When the clock finishes its another one minute circle, I turn off the light, stamp “ PAID” on another piece of paper, and throw it on the floor. I keep still and dutifully repeats turning on/off a light and stamps “ PAID” on a paper every minute from 9:00am -5:00pm on May 13, 2016.

“A Fair Days’ Work” is a durational performance piece that explores relationship between time and labor in working environment. “Work” is often defined as paid actives links to the market. While paid work remain visible, the unpaid work in arts, as a phenomenon, remains unrecognized and undervalued. “A Fair Days’ Work” is not only a test of mental and physical endurance, but also a satire that echoes the condition of artistic labor in relation to capitalist economy and subsidy culture, providing a justification for the artists’ vulnerability.

Photo credit: John Vo