This is a performative project that started in 2006 and in 2008 took place in Romania, as a critique of forms of enslavement, subcontracting and outsourcing.
The artwork has also been selected for the AND Festival in Manchester and a performance with installation with take place at the Cornerhouse as part of the exhibition What I Have Done to (De)serve This? curated by Omar Kholeif (FACT) and Sarah Perks (Cornerhouse).
Produced in partnership with Blank Media Collective.
The performance A Dream Came Through questions the politics of exploitative labour, by paying half-naked men to fan themselves for minimum wage. An advert appeared online and through several news outlets asking people to become part of the project. The images below are part of the performance that took place in Manchester.
Wanted: male participants for performance
A Dream Came Through
Have you ever dreamed of doing nothing but ‘fanning yourself’ all day long? This is the dream come true – you will be paid to sit around and fan yourself for the duration of a working day. There will be a contract signed between you and the artist producing this art project. And yes, you will be the art object, sitting there, fanning yourself, for all to see.
Please send an expression of interest, plus your contact details and basic information about yourself to email@example.com
Note the performance takes place Wed 29 Aug 18:00 – 21:00 and Thu 30 Aug 11:00 – 18:00, participants absolutely must be available for the entire duration.
After signing a contract of exploitation, the workers are literally paid to do nothing, fanning themselves for all to see. At first glance an ideal situation perhaps, or alternatively the impossibility of any labour to be more than an institutional process of enslavement. How successful is the real promise of a minimum wage, of economic liberation, within a ‘dream’ society? Or indeed, within the context of an art world event?
An article that discusses the issue of art, exploitation and labor titled The Disappearance of Signs in a Landscape of Deceptions was published on the NeMe platform in 2009.