One-on-One Workplace Interventions & Experimental Portrait Series
Directed by Megan Young with Participants
Project Support by Rena Naltas & Evan Prunty
Art Souterrain – Labor Improbus, Centre de Commerce Mondial Montreal
Woman Made Gallery, Documentation Exhibit
Rooms to Let:CLE
Book & Paper Center Gallery, Columbia College Chicago
How Does Environment Influence Sense of Self?
This socially engaged project examines the process of identity formation within community contexts. It features a range of bodies at work in Chicago’s rapidly changing Lower West Side and considers the subtle influences of space, tone, and expectation on their actions. Digital portraits of participants are presented in series through public exhibition and as web-based galleries.
The project is in a period of expansion beyond the Chicago site to include Cleveland’s Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood and additional locations. Residents are invited to participate in one-on-one sessions with the artist in their workplace setting. They perform habitual tasks and move through their space as they would on any normal day. The focus goes beyond mere documentation. And Me In My Place captures the subtle defiance, humor, uncertainty, and boldness of every action – beyond that required for efficiency or quality service. Seeing the unique vocabularies of every individual gives a more complete picture of the diverse and changing landscape of the American workplace as the digital revolution takes hold.
The process of documenting movement vocabularies has grown from a studio practice utilizing movement analysis, developmental patterns, directed movement exploration, and other quick composition methods. Those physical approaches are combined with research into body-based philosophy and embodied phenomenology. The methodologies have been visualized for exhibition spaces as text clouds and individualized “performance” scores.
Special thanks to MFA thesis advisers Melissa Potter, Lisa Gonzales, and David Jude Greene; mentors Paul Catanese, Annete Barbier, Bryan Saner, Jenny Magnus, and Meida McNeal; Columbia College Chicago Interdisciplinary Arts program, and all participant directors.