(art)work(sport)work(sex)work

YES! Association / Föreningen JA! in dialogue with Emy Fem.

Commissioned project by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto. 20 June – 7 September 2015. Curated by Julia Paoli


Bus rides hosted by Sophy Chan, Michèle Pearson Clarke, Emy Fem, Savoy “Kapow!” Howe, Maria Hupfield, Amanda De Lisio, Elene Lam together with Butterfly – Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network, Frances Mahon and Megan Ross, Leslie McCue and Lindy Kinoshameg, Hazel Meyer and Cait McKinney, Malin Arnell and Åsa Elzén from YES! Association / Föreningen JA!


(art)work(sport)work(sex)work aims to map how ideologies, socially accepted norms and legislations govern the conditions of work and participation within the fields of contemporary art, multi-sports events and sex trade, by specifically addressing The Power Plant, the Pan Am and Parapan American Games, hosted in Toronto this summer, and Canada’s new sex trade law Bill C-36. In so doing, YES! Association / Föreningen JA!’s project prompts a series of questions: How are these fields connected and entangled with one another? How are the divisions amongst them demarcated? What governing bodies are given the power to define these demarcations? Who is able to work within each field? What are the regulations that condition ones behaviour and why are these regulations within each field markedly different from one another? In an effort to triangulate these fields and situate them within the urban space of Toronto, YES! Association / Föreningen JA! has allocated a portion of its exhibition budget towards a series of bus rides that will take place each Saturday throughout the duration of the exhibition. People and groups based in Ontario who work within the fields of visual art, sports culture and sex trade have been invited to host each week’s ride.


The bus rides provide an intimate space, a collective mode of transport, bringing participants together while moving through the infrastructure of the city and offer time and space for collective responsibility, sustained engagement and trust. Before embarking on the ride, participants meet within the exhibition space where YES! Association / Föreningen JA! has constructed a liminal space, a bus terminal of sorts, that houses material and objects in relation to the invited hosts’ engagements and work. The space itself is ever-evolving, as documentation from the previous week’s ride is continuously added.


Through both the scope and framework of (art)work(sport)work(sex)work, YES! Association / Föreningen JA! presents a project that carries both the risks and the possibilities in positioning the institution as a site that can be regularly taken up, challenged and reconstituted by those who create, inhabit, critique, and disassemble it.


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top image and below: (art)work(sport)work(sex)work installation view Power Plant

Åsa Elzén

mail@asaelzen.com

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