After the tutorial with Les I rethought the idea of workers on the street and all the ‘work’ we do everyday. I especially wanted to see if I could get some feedback on my work. I was convinced that the flyers in particular so I made an alternative twitter account to see if putting it on the street figures and the flyers would provoke a response.
These two new ones are more decorative and have the @laborolove tag on them
I have been experimenting with the display of my work in the studio and having seen an artwork recently which was made from tape I wondered if I could use the tape with my see through work and play with the transparency. I really like the positioning but unfortunately the tape does not stay rigid enough to be effective but it has given me the idea of either using a very rigid material in place of the tape or finding a way of holding a more flexible material more firmly to ceiling and floor.
I decided I needed to connect directly or indirectly to prostitutes through their organisations. I am therefore writing to Colectivo Hetaira.
this is my translation of the email:
I am a visual artist who is interested in the stories of the everyday life of ordinary people. In much of my recent work I focus on the world of work and especially on women’s work. Over the past year I have been finding flyers for sex workers and in cars, originally in the south of Madrid and more recently in more central neighbourhoods. I am using them as a starting point for new ideas. The images and texts raise more questions than answers especially when they describe women as ‘independent’ or ‘adult’ because this appears suspicious and I would like to know if independent workers really use this type of publicity.
I would like to transmit the idea that sex work is as dignified, or more so in some cases, as other work. As an artist I am independent I do not have a gallery or dealer, I exhibit in independent galleries, artist run spaces and in the streets. I would really appreciate the opinion of of the collective of my initial ideas that are in my web page if you have time to take a look. They are in the section: ‘Artwork/Obras’ – ‘Trabajadoras sexuales /sex workers, and I am interested in any advice, direction or opinion that you might have the time to give me.
Soy una artista visual quien trabaja sobre las historias de la vida cotidiana de gente desconocida. En concreto mucho de mis últimas obras tratan del mundo laboral especialmente de las mujeres y sus historias. Desde el año pasado he encontrado la publicidad del trabajo sexual en los coches, primero en el sur de Madrid y luego en zonas más céntricas y lo estoy utilizando como punto de partida para desarrollar nuevas ideas. Las imágenes y textos me dan más dudas que respuestas sobre todo cuando ponen mensajes como ‘independientes’ o ‘major de edad’ porque me parece sospechosas y me gustaría saber si trabajadoras independientes realmente hacen este tipo de publicidad.
Me gustaría trasmitir que el trabajo sexual es una profesión tan o, en algunos casos, más digna como cualquier otra. Como artista soy independiente y no tengo ni galería ni marchante, expongo en galerías independientes, en espacios autogestionados y en la calle. Me gustaría tener la opinión del colectivo sobre mis ideas iniciales que están en mi página web si tenéis un momento para mirar. Están en la sección ‘Artwork/Obras’ – ‘Trabajadoras sexuales’ y me interesa cualquier consejo, orientación u opinión que tengáis tiempo para darme.
This year I have been back to life drawing on the Mondays we don’t have hangouts. I am really pleased about this as although I work mainly from found images -ie. 2D photographs and I work quickly I love working from a live model and I believe this feeds in to my studio work. I have included sketches where I only look at the model not the paper because I still love these as much as when I first did them as a teenager.
As an experiment for TYB I thought I would try pasting a cloth prostitute in the street last weekend. I had painted on calico and so she is a lot thicker than the muslin experiments. I had forgotten that I meant to make an experiment with tape with this figure. I didn’t realise until I had stuck it up in the street that she looked so much like one of those Julian Opie figures – although her head is attached. Today, one week later she is still there and part of the Sunday Rastro, the flea market. I doubt it will continue but I feel amazed she lasted so long, she is more robust than paper wheat pastes which only usually last long if they are really high up ie made with a step ladder.
I now feel more motivated to add more female workers to the street. In the studio this week I have been working on panels of paper with all kinds of undervalued work:
The panels include prostitutes as well as laundry women, nurses and cooks. The central idea being how all of these professions are undervalued as women’s work. All the photos are from local sources and I could also use these for the street works.
This was my first attempt on Friday of making flyers and putting them in the cars in my street. The flyers looked ok but on the cars they kind of disappeared. It is also really hard to know how they fared. I cannot hang around all day to see if there is any reaction. Also they are practically invisible and although they are alongside the other publicity. I am both disappointed and pleased. Disappointed they didn’t get seen (or I could not know about this) and really pleased that I tried this as an experiment at this stage. I also thought a lot more about my ideas about prostitution and I think I want to focus on the element of pride all women should have in their work. The groups I follow on social media for instance are pleased to be independent and outside of patriarchal systems. Of course they are anti trafficking and therefore want it to be decriminalised but are against legalization as they would become part of a corrupt system. Of course much of prostitution is corrupt too (trafficking and pimping) the decriminalisation would help at least a little with this. It would also stop it being the workers who are criminals when we know that the users come from all walks of life. This is a huge hidden trade. Given the timescale of this project I cannot hope to deal with all of this I feel I can do nothing more than add a message of dignity and respect for the women working this profession. In doing this I am being a little like the Spanish politicians of all parties who also refuse to give firm statements on the subject.
Sunday 7th – More Flyers
After some great suggestions by other students in my cohort I remade the flyers bigger (A5) and added text. I drew on kitchen cloths as I am interested in the value of women’s work and it’s traditions and took more images from the flyers for mine.
I took these a little further afield to where there are cars allowed on a Sunday, in my street there is a flea market today so it was impossible. the flyers are more visible but I still have no feedback. Another student suggested I film reactions. This I could do in my street, however, I am worried that there will be little to film maybe this just doesn’t work. I wonder why the idea feels right but it doesn’t work. Nevertheless I am glad I tried it.