SHIFTwork: Cathedral of Joy
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SHIFTwork is the collective name for a series of commissioned performances which focused on the physical act and process of painting as a form of performance art. The published forms of the series are three performances, and two written documents: (1) the book SHIFTwork: Cathedral of Joy; and (2) a section in the Korean Ceramic 2009 Biennale catalogue. This series of works investigated through 'live' performance, informed by historical context, how contemporary painting practice and performance are interrelated. The project investigated work, labour, duration, and social context through a continuous twenty-four hour seven-day performance. The first collaboration, 'Cathedral of Joy', occurred with New York artist Fritz Welsh on a series of paintings in full view of the public whereby the gallery became a public studio revealing in real time and on continuous webcam transmission what is ordinarily the private practice of painting. The work produced was left as an installation consisting of seven large paintings that acted as a document of the work process. In exposing the working process and framing it as a performance the project illuminated areas of activity previously withheld from public scrutiny. In providing a social and cultural context for the performance attention was drawn to painting as a labour-intensive activity with the artist as cultural worker. The project was also developed as a performance, called 'Post-Gutai-Cluster-Fuck', for 5th World Ceramics Biennale, Icheon, Korea, documented in the Korean Ceramic 2009 Biennale catalogue, and as a commission, entitled 'Big Pinko', by Campbelltown Arts Centre in Australia, documented in various forms available in this WIRAD submission’s repository.
Commissioning and partnership funding was supported by Arts Council of Wales, World Ceramic Exposition Foundation, Australian Arts Council and Arts Council of New South Wales.
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