The Labors, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 2011.

Without You I’m Nothing: A four-month companion series of artist and audience activations
Curated by Tricia Van Eck

January 11–16
Mark Jeffery and Judd Morrissey
The Labors
Tues–Sun 10:30 am–12:30 pm (interviews) &
2:30–4 pm (performances)

The Labors combines text, movement and astronomy in an exploration of both labor and the night sky. Taking on the role of in-residence researchers at the MCA, the artists
interview visitors about their occupations, labor histories, and the meaning of the word work, particularly during a time of economic uncertainty. Collaborating with
dramaturge and performance artist Fiona Wright, the artists will create a movement sequence for nine male performers, using the interviews as source material. The
performer’s positions and motions are determined in part by a computer program that generates a real-time map of celestial objects above the museum according to an
online catalogue of star data.

Inspired by the Hoover Dam’s sculpture, The Winged Figures of the Republic, and the celestial floor map at the base of the dam, The Labors is also influenced by numerous historical and cultural references, including Busby Berkley’s choreography, the novel The Grapes of Wrath, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, and artist Sol LeWitt’s geometry. The Labors marks the passing of time with everyday gestures, functioning as an ephemeral human monument to the body at work.

The Labors is performed by:
Justin Deschamps
Sam Hertz
Zachary Kolodjeski
Chris Knowlton
Zihan Loo
Joshua Rackliffe
Blake Russell
Louis Turcotte

Interview assistants: Hope Esser and Daviel Shy
Movement assistant: Karen Faith
Camera: Fiona Wright
Edit: Daviel Shy

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