WHO WOULD PAY TO GO TO WORK?
“Dear friends, colleagues, comrades, dear public, As you might know, I was invited to exhibit at the Startpoint Prize 2017 at the National Gallery in Prague this year. Unfortunately, the working conditions turned out to be inacceptable. I had to pay most of my material cost myself, allthough I had announced several time how much it would be and had a verbal agreement on that. Therefore, I decided to shave my hairy wall before the end of the exhibition. I’d like to thank cindy cat, an inititative of cultural workers of FAU union for the support. Irène Mélix”
[The video, which lasts just under four minutes, shows a person approaching a large black patch of hair on a white wall. She wears black jeans, a cap and a sweater and holds a flat reproduction of an oversized razor in her hand, with which she begins to shave off the patch of hair. Only some of the hair can be shaved off, leaving shaggy patches on the wall. The other hairs fall to the floor. At the end of the film, the person sticks a small sign on the wall, which is zoomed in on. It bears the text: Who would pay to go to work? The fact that artists often don’t get paid for their working hours unfortunately comes as no surprise. The fact that, in this case, I had to pay for 2/3 of my material costs, made me upset. Therefore, I decided to shave my work. Below the text is a small picture of the razor. The credits of the film read: shaving the wall, Irène Mélix in the National Gallery Prague, 2017]