Reference Project: Heroes of Labour
On this website you’ll see the reference project “Heroes of Labour”. It’s a source of information about Heroes of Labour project and the summer 2013 exhibition in Genk, Belgium.
The Heroes of Labour project and installation is an attempt to question radical changes in the very notion of Labour in contemporary, post-industrial society.
The global balance of power, which once helped support a certain level of social justice in capitalist society as each side battled for the moral high ground, shifted with the end of Soviet Socialist System. Brute capitalism was then unleashed on an unsuspecting global stage. Whole industries are being moved to parts of the world where the workforce is cheap and plentiful, countries where workers can be hired and fired at will. The proletariat, as defined by a Marxist political economics, is gradually disappearing and being replaced by a new class – the precariat (a precarious, temporary and ever changeable workforce). Labour itself is losing its value in this era of capitalist globalisation.
Whilst working on the project he appealed to the past, to an almost mythological history when the value of labour was at its zenith. Using elements from the past and present he tried to create a somewhat archaic Temple of Labour, a larger than life installation, which, in the end, provokes questions rather than providing answers.
The issues the installation addresses has an added significance for the city of Genk today, with the forthcoming closure of the Ford factory – a move that will leave around 10,000 people unemployed.