I wanted someone to bounce ideas off when thinking about how best to display my work so had a conversation in the studio which forced me to consider how I wanted the piece to be read/ understood. It made me consider what it would be like for someone with no prior knowledge fo my work to view it. They need to have some foundational information to appreciate what I want them to understand- or do they?
We spoke about how the work could be a personal discovery which I’ve worked out myself, these cutting and shredding sessions almost becoming ritualistic, performing a memorial to those who are currently working under forced conditions. I think those periods of time where I’ve been alone and cutting up the documentation, I’ve been able to really connect with some small part of what they experience, however, this won’t be a shared experience with my audience.
It was suggested I could make the work performance based and physically continue to shredding the information in front of the viewer, this might enable them to physically understand the labour in the shredding which is ‘the work’ and also have a connection emotionally with the process. Some of the other ideas put forward included :
- Displaying a table which had the process shown. Papers which were whole, shredded into strips, cubed and put into a pile. Making sure I showed the ruler, scalpel knife and scissors as a part of the work.
- If I wanted to pursue this, I should also consider how the hight of the table could alter the viewers perception of who the ‘ worker’ could be. If it was a particular short table, it could be in reference to child labour.
- I could display images which have been shredded, pasting them back together? – I explored this in my sketchbook however, It could be interesting if were to have pasted back the wrong pieces so the images made no sense.
I’ve concluded that it would be beneficial for me to include a list of the articles which I’ve shredding and explain to the viewer that this has all been done by hand, none of it happening outside of human capacity (eg. a machine shredder). I also think I want to pursue a more fluid and subtle piece, where the shredded material is the main part of the piece. I think this will also be reflective of how forced labour is invisible and dispersed around the world and our environments. I also believe that as the shredding becomes slowly kicked around the space it will have a haunting quality to it as it follows the viewer around the space when looking at other works.