Object of Study: The Grand Domestic Revolution continues... Workshop
Curated by Louise Shelley
Domestic Work is Work was a public workshop where presentations and discussion asked how strategies of art production and distribution can inform and support social movements related to labour and visibility. The workshop specifically addressed discourses around the social perception of domestic work, the recognition of the domestic sphere as a site of labour, and the aesthetics of this labour.
Contributors included Justice for Domestic Workers (J4DW), a self-organised group of migrant Domestic Workers in London for whom visual expression and aesthetic strategies are important for their campaign. J4DW have been collaborating with London arts space The Showroom for two years, the various engagements and discussions between J4DW, artists, curators and curatorial projects have sought to make domestic work visible and the employment of artistic and aesthetic strategies to this end. This collaboration and research has been extended through the CuratorLab programme at Konstfack to begin conversations with Kommunal and Swedish based domestic workers. In 2007 the Swedish Government introduced tax relief for those employing domestic services, the urgency to address this, to make visible domestic work and to politicise the domestic sphere as a site of labour, exchange and power relations is at the centre of this workshop. The workshop included a Bilderkritik exercise with Werker Magazine. Bilderkritik (image critique) is a collective learning methodology conceived within the 1920s workers photography movement. The images for the Bilderkritik come from Werker Magazine 3 – The Domestic Worker Photography Network www.werkermagazine.org and worked to identify patterns of commonality among the images and see how they speak to different people in the workshop.
Object of Study: The Grand Domestic Revolution Goes On… was a series of events from two distinct projects that bring The Grand Domestic Revolution Library - a collection of feminist publications and manuals, at Tensta Konsthall - in dialogue with current activist working, organising and campaigning. As part of the exhibition Tensta Museum: Reports from New Sweden.
Louise Shelley is Collaborative Projects Curator at The Showroom, London. Together with Jenny Richards and Marissa Begonia (J4DW) we co-produced a text titled We Build Families – The Aesthetics of Domestic Labour published in 2014 by Critical Cities.