Labor of Fire is a visual arts exhibition about labor, featuring the works of emerging female and minority artists from Washington, DC and the DMV area.
The exhibition will highlight the artists' critical insights into the social and political dimensions of labor. The selected artists turned their own labor into the subject as well as the means of inquiry. They reframed discounted forms of labor as foundational, and recast the art object as a fossil of labor itself
As the curator, I am committed, to ensure they are compensated in proportion to their contribution to the exhibition, even though, sadly dominant trends in the art world tend to the opposite: the work of female and minority artists is often overlooked and under-funded.
They are frequently expected to fund their own work with little to no compensation for the content they provide to exhibiting institutions. Too often they work just for visibility and under inequitable contracts.
The DC Arts Center (DCAC), in Adams Morgan, will provide the exhibition space and part of the funds that will cover the artists' fees. More is needed to ensure performance fees are also covered , in line with the standards set by W.A.G.E. (https://wageforwork.com/fee-calculator#top), the most reputable organisation in the US advocating for equitable artists pay.
If realised with adequate funding, Labor of Fire will bring together a collection of labor manifestations that explores different dimensions of labor from the most intimate to the most collective. Meditation, maintenance, care, craft, social commentary and activism will coexist in the show as equally important practices of world-making.
Funded by Washington, DC (January 2024)