The workshop takes its cue from the exhaustion caused by the invisibilization of reproductive labour under current cultural, economic and political conditions in this part of the world referred to as 'The West'. This invisibilization concerns daily unwaged practices of care and survival within domestic settings, but also poorly waged care and emotional labour often performed by individuals who hold less privileged passports. In both cases this type of labour is still widely performed by female-born or female-identifying people, and is certainly a feminizing mark on the bodies from all genders who find themselves busy with it. Just to be clear, this workshop acknowledges that reproductive work is not solely in the hands of women and is happy to engage with anybody who experiences its dimensions and repercussions. The core crux we will be dealing with is how the absence of reproductive labour from the public gaze makes our bodies and lives even more exposed and vulnerable to the productive, exploitative logic of capitalist modes of labor, even in the field of art and culture.
Whereas the topic of unwaged domestic labour has been tackled by different waves of radical marxist feminist groups since at least the 1970s, I intend to address this type of invisible/invisibilized labour vis à vis a specific and somewhat paradoxical type of art performance: a performance that is meant not to be seen, either because it happens without an audience or because it happens unannounced, with an audience who is not being alerted to or aware of it. With this workshop I would like to extend an invitation to cross-think these two realms in an open manner. During the time we will have together, we will dwell on invisible/invisibilized performances which utilise routines, chores and infrastructures as their main artistic materials. Discussing these methodologies in relation to invisibilized labour, we will collectively question whether (and in what manner) a performance that withdraws itself from public exposure, basically a performance that refuses, refutes and subverts the canons of performativity, can contribute to life transformation, spiritual expansion, and activate social change.
The workshop is open to anyone who feels seen by this description. Practically, we will look at historical as well as present examples of performances not be seen, indulge ourselves in the convivial act of complaining, and gather materials towards a collaging of references, ideas, inspirations, and problems.