Dream Clean Clean Dream
is one of many single and multi-screen performance/video edits which can be screened as an independent short video or as a series of screen and audio compositions that can be installed in a gallery space via tv monitors, in an arrangement that allows spectators roaming choice and movement to re-compose image formations.
This projects takes an aesthetic approach to cleaning and maintenance rituals. Concerned with rhythm, surface texture, choreography and colour, we create a lens through which emergent and pertinent questions of labour, domesticity, progress, illusion, perversion and companionship may appear.
The work follows two artists/cleaners or cleaners/artists inhabiting the rituals involved in the running of a Bed and Breakfast in France over a 2 year period. At times it has the quality of video/diary, at other times documentary interview and other moments are solely concerned with surface lines and texture. There is a constantly shifting and unpredictable play between an apparent relentless banality, a commitment to care and standards and a poetic exploration of the complex and intimate layers of being that exist within the performance of any activity or role.
An underlying thread is concerned with invisibility of maintenance time when upholding the illusion of cleanliness, the question of waste and an acknowledgement of where the dirt and toxic excess goes. We wish to allude to the gendered roles of domestic work, art- workers and the perceived lack of value that maintenance work holds within capitalist economies of growth, creativity and progress.
This conversation digs into questions of work, productivity and value. By taking two contrasting projects as their starting points, Marina, Henrietta and Nicola explore strategies of working; what it is to work, and to work as an artist – and perhaps also to make working into art.
What is virtuosity, what is excess, what is necessity? What does being busy doing nothing produce? Can you simultaneously be going nowhere and progress? What the hell is progress anyway