Hard Work, Labor, and Cinder Block
Hard Work, Labor, and Cinder Block, explores the idea of “hard work”. To showcase this broad definition of “hard work” in today’s age. An age that consists of entrepreneurship, social media and the affecting issues of social media. The contrast of the cinder block intrigues me. It’s cold, heavy, structural and a product of labor. Its gritty texture makes me want to pick at it and rub my hand against it. Many of these feelings relate to a self-sabotaging state of impulsion. The state of wanting feasible control over an object and expecting expeditious results from it.
When I found the cinder block, I envisioned it lost and helpless. It became my duty to give it a purpose, to see it in another space. In holding it, an intimate relationship was forged. In experiencing its properties, it was as if I were cradling an infant. I felt like I had a responsibility to bring this cinder block somewhere, to save this product from its lack of usefulness. The rescue consisted of carrying it from 1040 Metropolitan Ave to the Graham Ave L line stop (Brooklyn), then to 14 Street 8th Avenue (West Village), and finally to 110th Street Cathedral Parkway (Harlem). Being conceptually bound, my use of material is important and specific to a given framework. I focus on the idea and process-making of creating, allowing my work to be directed by a state of being. My practice fuels my exploration for experiences outside traditional frameworks, linking them with definitions of space. Questioning social norms is specific to this performance－ I’ll be a questioning instigator carrying a cinder block.
The walk itself defines this spectrum of work and labor. What factors of “hard work” need to be considered for someone to be working hard? Why are we driven to states of exhaustion in order to consider ourselves “hard workers”? This question is something I’d like to explore in a society where our perception of hard work is in continuous flux. My definition of hard work, ultimately, is doing something that utterly benefits you in the spectrum of time. Not today, not tomorrow, but someday. Accepting a learning process to dismantle explanations or expectations in trusting one’s intuitiveness.
After completing Hard Work, Labor and Cinder Block, I discovered the term "hardwork" to be nor physical or mental labor. It is the action of doing something that may ormay not benefit you indirectly. Applying a consistent effort and practice towards something intensive for (x) amounts of time.
The activity of carrying the cinder block piqued my interest in physicality and materiality. A self-exploratory thought about how one can capture time and space. Byexploring, through the past and the present, I'm attempting to communicate and depict spaces that I experience and wish to replicate. Spaces that allow for experimentation and research, in this performance, are behind self-determination.
I did not drop the cinderblock until we reached our last destination. All that was left was the fraying and ash on my clothes.
Photographed by Rosabel Ferber.