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General(s) Labour
ARTIFACTS (Pam Patterson and Leena Raudvee)

Performance: May 25, 1-2 PM
The Roastery, 401 Richmond st. w, Toronto
May 25, 2019

Times being as they are, work is scarce, pensions non-existent, especially for two women Air Force generals. Awarded as fearless revolutionaries in the early 1900s, valiant Air Force pilots in WWII, and heroic leaders in the Canadian forces, they are dropped, through political exigency, to labour in obscurity sweeping floors and cleaning tables in a Toronto cafe.

In General(s) Labour ARTIFACTS conflates the domestic and the larger notion of women’s labour – in this case in relation to class, gender, ageism and the military - with the “work” of an artist. But what we ask are the more complex issues at play here? We live in a time of fake news, of absurd political obfuscation, of wider gaps between minimum wage earners and those who are privileged and financially secure. How, we ask, can the Generals performing as café cleaners and as cultural producers playfully uncover some of these issues? How can ARTIFACTS “be” both “fictitious” characters and reflective makers. We attempt to flip between these two roles illustrating and engaging these questions with each other and our viewers.

In process and practice, ARTIFACTS intentionally poses a problem, a question, to stimulate action and reflection. Dialogue between themselves and among others is their act of creation.

ARTIFACTS, formed in 1983 by Pam Patterson and Leena Raudvee, produces feminist collaborative works which combine the concerns of art and theatre; they have fused these traditions into a unique hybridity. Ever cognizant of gender politics and cultural normalization, ARTIFACTS engages in deconstructing various contemporary societal issues by exploring women’s bodies across speculative edges and in liminal spaces. While concentrating on performance, ARTIFACTS has also created video and visual exhibitions. Research-in-process and doing-as-action define their practice

photography; Miklos Legrady.

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