Precarious Workers Pageant
Protest and Performance at the Venice Bienniale
Venice, Italy – August 7th 2015
The Precarious Workers Pageant took place during the Venice Biennial on the evening of August 7th 2015. It was a public procession staged in solidarity with migrant laborers working on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi where a new, Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum will soon be under construction. Human Rights Watch, Gulf Labor Coalition and Global Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.) have revealed that the working and living conditions for laborers in Abu Dhabi are oppressive and sub-standard.
The Precarious Workers Pageant began with a performance inside S.a.L.E. Docks cultural center where a model of Gehry’s proposed architecture was first deconstructed. Then these liberated abstract shapes were carried outside in a cacophonous procession over canals and through nearby streets. The procession passed by the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, finally stopping at the Galleria dell’Accademia plaza where these emancipated elements were reconstructed into a temporary public commons. Inside this space of solidarity a group of speakers addressed the struggle for social justice that is faced today by all precarious workers.
The fundamental question raised by the Precarious Workers Pageant is:
Who Builds Your Architecture?
Gregory Sholette’s lecture Precarious Workers of the (Art) World Unite!
Presented by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, Critical Inquiry, Art History, DOVA, and Art and Public Life.
October 9, 2015
University of Chicago