After You Vol.2 (2021)
‘After You Vol.2’ (2021) consists of two performers resuming their laboursome roles as our protagonists, isolated from the world inside a 6ft tall cube composed of 8 panes of acetate. They mimic the actions of window cleaners, working tirelessly to fulfil an incompletable task with an abundance of enthusiasm and drive for the endurance of the task at hand.
The use of the cube serves as a physical barrier between performer and viewer and refers to the workers as a caged animal at a zoo, exploring the boundaries between work and theatre through entertainment, amusement, and a commercial focus. This parallel is only deepened by the repetitive essence and cyclical orbiting inherent in the piece. Drawing attention to work as our existence, adjusting our body clocks to the needs of our job role and employers; taking priority over the sun.
Window cleaners move from window to window; “After You” (2020) operates in specified parameters, allowing for the output of the futile process to gather at the feet of the performers as a physical measurement of progression. Obvious in the performance is the notion of exaggerated emotional labour, through the embodiment of boisterous personas and mannerisms.
The performers put on a show where the visual aesthetic of synchronicity creates a contrast with the mundanity of work; cumulatively delivering an overwhelming sense of exhaustion within the satirical cycle. The cold nature and isolation of the working environment present translates as a farming of forced human labour, referencing the worker as the battery for the maintenance and development of society.