© Shiraz Bayjoo, 2009
Artist Shiraz Bayjoo transforms Rivington Place’s Education Space into a temporary artist-run factory, making it the setting for a new workforce in response to exhibitions by NS Harsha and Chen Chieh-jen.
Workforce recreates the collectivising demand of industry as governments call their workforce to mobilise and unite under a common cause, that of nation building. Continuing the legacy of union banners and other collective symbols such as the red flag, Bayjoo brings his workers together beneath the banner of his artistic product.
The artistic product is a communal flag manufactured by the free labour of the workforce. The flag fills the expanse of the gallery, representing the identity of the workforce and contributing to the history of industry’s alliances.
261 workers from the public contributed over 1000 hours of free labour in the form of stitching, sewing and conversation in exchange for their participation in this artistic experience.
The project, selected by curator Teresa Cisneros, playfully considers the roles of individual and collective identities, the relationships and communities formed in labour forces, and the questions that arise in participating within an identity that is not necessarily your own.