OAG is excited to partner with FIELD TRIP! Our inaugural post features Brendan Fernandes’ Clean Labor, part of the exhibition RhythmScape, which opened on March 12, just prior to the OAG’s temporary closure due to COVID19.
Field Trip: Art Across Canada is a new online platform to deliver arts experiences with some of Canada’s most celebrated artists in a national partnership with leading arts organizations. From children’s programs to artist talks and workshops, these activities are designed to advance the work of our nation’s organizations through digital platforms for different age groups, on a range of subjects, that engage communities and support artists, particularly during the challenges presented during a pandemic.
Brendan Fernandes’ Clean Labor (2017) was a site-specific performance that drew attention to the invisible hands that prepare hotel rooms for guests and focused on the role of the body in such a physically demanding profession. During the performance, while the hotel room attendant went through their regular motions to clean the room, they were paired with a dancer who enacted complimentary gestures of physical exertion. Dancers were encouraged to improvise movements related to their own understanding of the experience. As most room attendants are immigrants to North America with undervalued skills, Brendan Fernandes drew them into the choreography of the movements. During the performance, dancers gently requested – indicated by a hand-on-shoulder – that the staff should pause in their work. These pauses created moments of reflection for the staff, dancers and audience to understand the meticulous actions necessary to achieve a clean, safe and liveable space.
RhythmScape is presented in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of South Korea to Canada, the Korean Cultural Centre Canada, through the support of the Korean Foundation for International Culture Exchange.