Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge
"Why would you want to do art about our experience. We're not
It's a comment we often hear from people. It not only speaks volumes
about the nature of working and community life in our society but it
also addresses how people see themselves and what the dominant culture
has done to that perception. We work with unions and communities as
part of a larger collective process to change those perceptions. Our
working relationship is based on a collaborative process mediated through
the union movement or community group.
Given the present social divisions of labour, our work attempts to bridge
two audiences. Working people and those in the arts. We feel that it
is not only important to articulate the concerns and experience of working
and community life, but that it should also be able to stand up to the
sophistication of corporate culture and take into account the complexities
of cultural representation.
Initially, we developed a staged fictional format in our images to protect
people from being identified by management. However, we soon realized
that it allows us to push both the content and form much further. More
recently, however, we have also developed a process of visual workshops
in which community members collaborate in developing the form of the
work and act in the final images.
Working with the union movement and communities has other implications.
It begins to address the division of labour between wage work and creative
work by demystifying the construction of each and pointing to similar
social/economic constraints. It also begins to articulate a cultural
politic around the democratization of access to cultural resources.