About this project
What is Clean Labor?
Created by artist Brendan Fernandes, Clean Labor is a contemporary dance performance that make visible what is too often overlooked — the work of cleaning professionals whose contributions ensure that our homes, offices, schools, hotels, and public spaces are safe, clean, and livable.
Brendan is collaborating with cleaning professionals at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to design an original, contemporary dance inspired by the movements and routines involved in their work. The resulting performance explores the similarities between the graceful and methodical movements of cleaning and those of dance, establishing a dialogue between the two, physically demanding professions and making us all more aware of how our bodies shape and are shaped by the work we do.
About the Performances
On Sunday, March 5, Clean Labor will be performed at the Wythe Hotel. Dancers will be joined by the Wythe Hotel’s cleaning staff in this very special performance. While the cleaners make up the room, the performers will take their movements and gestures as inspiration. The performance will take place in numerous rooms throughout the Wythe as well as in the Ides Rooftop Bar.
The performance is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required. Reserve your spot by pledging to our campaign!
Clean Labor will also be performed at the VIP opening of the Armory Show art fair. Additional performances in the NYC area will be announced soon. Please stay tuned.
A special performance of Clean Labor will be presented at the Armory VIP opening party hosted at the BMW Showroom in midtown.
Kickstarter is about creating an ever expanding community. Through Clean Labor, we want to move beyond the art world. We want to engage as many people as possible in a conversation about immigrant rights, the inherent value of their labor, and the struggles they face gaining the recognition they deserve. We hope that you - the Kickstarter community - help us accomplish this ambitious, but worthwhile goal.
About the Artist
Brendan Fernandes is a Canadian artist of Kenyan and Indian descent. As the son of immigrants, he has long been interested in how we perceive and value the labor of those who strive for a better life in a new country. Clean Labor is a continuation of this ongoing exploration through dance, movement, and art. Past projects include We As One, Still Move, and Night Shift.
His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, including at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Art and Design New York, Art in General, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Brooklyn Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Mass MoCA, and The Andy Warhol Museum. He is currently artist in residence and faculty at Northwestern University in the Department of Art Theory and Practice.
About More Art
More Art commissions groundbreaking artists to create public art projects that meaningfully engage communities across New York City. For over a decade, we’ve worked with seminal artists including Joan Jonas, Pablo Helguera, Dread Scott, Andres Serrano, and many more to produce and present innovative works of public art that serve as platforms for open dialog and catalysts for new ideas and strategies in the pursuit of social justice. This, in addition to our outreach, education, and engagement programs have made More Art a leader in the New York City cultural community.
More Art is very excited to present Clean Labor in collaboration with the Armory Show 2017, the Wythe Hotel, BMW, and Sotheby's. Thanks also to the Abrons Art Center for providing rehearsal space.
All rewards are tax deductible and More Art will provide a letter with the tax deductible amount with every donation.
Risks and challenges
In producing this project we fully expect to hit our fair share of speed bumps and slow downs. But we’re a scrappy bunch with a combined half century of experience partnering with numerous community organizations, working with the city, and producing public art.
Got a project that involved senior immigrants, first generation artists, and grassroots activism? Please turn your attention to our Engaging Artists Residency Program. Do we need to work with three separate government agencies to screen the film in public parks? Yeah, we’ve done that. (What’s up DOT!) Is there the aftermath of a hurricane in the way of exhibiting the work? Yep, Sandy hit right before we presented Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection by Krzysztof Wodiczko in Union Square. With the right combination of pleading and smooth talk we got the job done.
Basically what we’re saying is - when the going gets tough - which it will, we become public art ninjas. Trust us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (30 days)