This public discussion centers on the recent publication of A Sourcebook of Performance Labor (Routledge 2023) by curator Joey Orr, which reorients well-known works of contemporary performance and social practice around the workers who have shaped, enacted, and supported them. Emerging from perspectives on maintenance, care, and affective labor, Sourcebook is filled with the voices of collaborators in notable works attributed to established contemporary artists including Francis Alÿs, Tania Bruguera, Suzanne Lacy, Ernesto Pujol, Asad Raza, Dread Scott, and Tino Sehgal. This research aims to add perspectives to the ways we understand these works and their contexts, exploring the category of performance labor through the experiences of participants who helped craft this body of work. In a discussion on the ethics of participation at The 8th Floor, Joey Orr will be joined by Dread Scott, Rudy Gerson, and Kyle Carrero Lopez.
Dread Scott is a visual artist whose works is exhibited across the US and internationally. In 1989, his art became the center of national controversy over its transgressive use of the American flag, while he was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. President G.H.W. Bush called his art "disgraceful" and the entire US Senate denounced and outlawed this work. Dread became part of a landmark Supreme Court case when he and others defied the federal law outlawing his art by burning flags on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. He has presented at TED talk on this. His work has been included in exhibitions at MoMA PS1, the Walker Art Center, Cristin Tierney Gallery, and Gallery MOMO in Cape Town, South Africa, and is in the collection of the Whitney Museum and the Brooklyn Museum. He is a 2021 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and has also received fellowships from Open Society Foundations and United States Artists as well as a Creative Capital grant. In 2019 he presented Slave Rebellion Reenactment, a community-engaged project that reenacted the largest rebellion of enslaved people in US history. The project was featured in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Christiane Amanpour on CNN and highlighted by artnet.com as one of the most important artworks of the decade.
May 5, 2023