“40 Hour Work Week” was produced as part of a residency I completed in Spring 2022 at Loyola University in Baltimore, MD as part of my solo exhibition, “Ruminations.” From March 21-25, students were invited to participate in the creation of a single sculptural piece that remained on display through the remainder of the exhibition. In keeping with the themes of the larger exhibition and body of work, the participants and I performed a series of small repetitive task that followed a set of prescribed rules and resulted in a final form with no inherent purpose beyond representing the labor performed.
Labor from all participants was meticulously measured by the amount of time they choose to participate. I worked for a full 40 hour work week with a 1/2 hour breaks for lunch each day. Students and visitors could participate for as much or as little as they choose but no longer than 40 hours. At the conclusion of the exhibition the piece was be divided proportionally so that each participant, including the artist got to keep a fraction of the piece commensurate to the percentage of time they worked in relation to the total hours worked. Each piece is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. The final completed sculpture will be assigned a market value and each individual section of piece was labeled to reflect the proportional portion of that value. This number was be included on the certificate of authenticity.
Unlike the rest of the work in the series, this performance and piece will explore collective work; labor performed by a group to meet a collective end. The project as a whole explores the idea of labor as performance, the value of work and artwork, the concept of work for work’s sake, productivity, compensation and challenges the arbitrary of the 40 hour work week.