Part circus, part protest, all live art.
Women at Work is a collective street performance piece that explores the world of ’emotional labour’ in a fun and stylistic way, offering an interactive experience or a passive reflection in passing. A response to maker Hannah Clarke’s continued sightings of ‘men at work’ signs in 2016, Women at Work is an ensemble installation that sees a piece of public space eg Cuba Mall in Wellington city, cordoned off and a ‘work site’ installed complete with a stop/go (wo)man. Within the site many women are “working”: one vacuuming (a futile task in a street), one literally juggling babies (well, baby dolls), another loading and moving large paper mâché boulders painted to look like emoji’s. At the centre of the work site is a hot pink desk where a woman local to the installation site is invited to carry out her normal work. Each of the working women is endowed with a character and available to interact with the public. If casting allows there is also a site manager who offers hazard tours of the work site.
Every 14mins or so a bell tolls, all women down tasks and take a microbreak dancing in sync to a minute of Dolly Parton’s hit song ‘9 to 5’ before returning to their work.
Conceived for Fringe 2017 by Hannah Clarke and Rebeka Whale, this project has been developed with production elements created ready for performance mid-2017.