Made in collaboration with Dr. Gwyn Easterbrook-Smith for Human Resources, an exhibition by Pointon and Easterbrook-Smith, Meanwhile Gallery, 2018.
"Grounded in their experiences in the workplace, Elisabeth Pointon (bookings coordinator for a luxury car dealership) and Dr. Gwyn Easterbrook-Smith (a sex worker) scrutinise unpaid performative and emotional labour undertaken by femmes in the workplace."
"...consisting of installation, performance and video art (Human Resources) offers a theatrical counterpart to their physical workplaces and the everyday practices that occur there. Pointon uses her working as the centre of her art research, and attempts to remedy the inherent structural problems that result from its hierarchical structure, through the gesture of art. In doing so, she facilitates opportunities to transform the communal spaces at her workplace from cold, isolating areas into humorous and [absurdly] hopeful sites for communion and engagement. The immersive space created within MEANWHILE uses elements from Pointon and Easterbrook-Smith’s workplaces, creating a synthesis of the visual elements and ephemera most associated with sex work, and the aspects which are frequently overlooked. By placing these two artists’ occupations side by side, Human Resources highlights the frequently invisibilised labour carried out in both workplaces.
Gwyn Easterbrook-Smith is a sex worker and researcher based in Wellington, New Zealand. Easterbrook-Smith recently completed their PhD thesis Illicit drive-through sex, Migrant Prostitutes, and Highly Educated Escorts: productions of ‘acceptable’ sex work in New Zealand news media 2010 – 2016, which investigates who has access to notions of acceptability within the sex industry. Their research also considers the role of unacknowledged emotional labour within sex work, both when dealing with clients and in speaking publicly about the work. Easterbrook-Smith has recently appeared in Paying For It: An Insiders Guide to the New Zealand Sex Industry, Bats Theatre."
- text supplied by the artist