press release

Liz Magic Laser and Candice Breitz. REAL WORK
Real people. Real stories. Real work.
12.07.2019 - 06.10.2019

REAL WORK brings together two artists highlighting the human aspect of precarious and unrecognised work. Together they showcase 15 people’s uncensored stories about labour, putting the real-life workers front and centre. From freelancers competing for work in an isolated online world, to a community of sex work activists in South Africa, the jobs addressed in REAL WORK share a lack of mainstream recognition in society. The exhibition highlights the human stories behind invisible work, drawing attention to the often unheard voices of those working in precarious situations around the world.

In Real Life (2019) by Liz Magic Laser is an experimental reality show that follows the lives of five gig-workers from around the world who rely on work they find through online platforms such as PeoplePerHour, Upwork and Fiverr. From scriptwriting to animation, the cast members have been hired to create In Real Life. These "on demand" workers face great risks and often unrealistic deadlines. Each episode follows their journeys as they take part in a transformational development programme. Laser directs the cast members through a series of challenges, with help from a tech-savvy life coach and a psychic advisor, who also work in the online gig economy. They film and record their experiences of using apps and devices intended to optimise their efficiency. Ultimately, the reality show guides them to scientifically manage their health and work productivity in pursuit of their independent goals. The show features Alabi Adebayo Akintunde (nollygfx on Upwork), Zahid Iqbal (thelancersinc on Fiverr), Cardy O'Donnell (PeoplePerHour), Nikki (PeoplePerHour), Kiki Wong (K1wngg on Fiverr), Count Marco (Fiverr and PsychicMix) and Louise Papadopoullos (Mind Body Design).

Sweat (2018) by Candice Breitz sees the artist collaborate closely with ten members of a community of Cape Town-based sex workers, who each offer a series of anecdotes and insights into their lives and labour. All ten individuals are activists affiliated with SWEAT (the Sex Workers Education & Advocacy Taskforce). Their statements—each of which is ten-tweets-long in duration—are drawn from a series of longer interviews. Shown for the first time as an immersive 10-channel video installation at FACT, the resulting cacophony of voices addresses the rampant gender-based and racist violence that sex workers face on a daily basis. Sweat addresses the lack of legal protections within the sex work industry, insisting on the necessity of extending human rights and labour rights to sex workers. The work features the voices of Zoe Black, Connie, Duduzile Dlamini, Emmah, Gabbi, Regina High, Jenny, Jowi, Tenderlove and Nosipho "Provocative" Vidima.

REAL WORK is accompanied by The Liverpool Complaints Choir - Citizens Singing About Work, a community art project that invites you to sing your gripes aloud, turning our personal moaning into something great and powerful. Created by artists Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, The Liverpool Complaints Choir - Citizens Singing About Work is a group of Liverpudlians of all ages and backgrounds, coming together with a musician to perform their complaints at FACT and across the city. At FACT for the first time, the choir is focusing their complaints on work and invites you to hear their song during four special performances across the city this summer.

REAL WORK is a legacy project from The Future World of Work, commissioned by Culture Liverpool as part of the Liverpool 2018 programme.