Gob Squad put on their best interview suits and go to work in an office for a week
I’ve never been a ballerina.
I’ve never stood on stage in white and had roses thrown at me.
I’ve never been thrown by one man to be caught by another.
I’ve never been a cowboy.
I never shot a man.
I’ve ridden a horse but not with the sun setting behind me.
I’ve never eaten beans in a tin round a campfire.
If we all wanted to grow up and be ballerinas and spacemen, where did we go so wrong?
Where: An office in the centre of town (with people in neighbouring buildings hard at work)
Who: Seven people dressed in their best interview suits (sometimes caught in a loop of repetitive tasks, sometimes asleep in a pile on the floor, sometimes dancing with filing cabinets – always tired by the end of the day)
What: 6 desks, 6 office chairs, 5 filing cabinets (to file DREAMS, FEARS, HOPES, WORRIES and QUESTIONS); 1 computer (with Kudos job research programme); 1 telephone (used to interview the public about their jobs); 1 photocopier (where faces are reproduced and renamed); 3 walls covered with photocopied clocks (showing the passing of time by the minute); surveillance cameras and 2 monitors; 1 door with a bright shining light (where every now and then a spaceman or an ice skater appears); pencils, party hats, heaps of shredded paper.
How long: 40 hours. The length of a working week, 9 to 5 from Monday to Friday.
Work takes place in a city centre office from 9-5 for a full working week. The public are free to visit Work at their leisure at any time during the event and are encouraged to return as often as they wish to see the piece change and develop.
During the forty hour performance, Gob Squad, in their best interview suits, attempt to reveal the unwritten rules and hidden pleasures of our working lives. The office becomes an arena where the performers confront both their worst fears and their most idealistic visions of work. Interviews with children about what they want to be when they grow up are compared with live phone conversations with members of the public on the reality of job insecurity. Everyday office life is suddenly broken by ‘Do-It-Yourself’ Come Dancing routines and an executives’ fashion show. Occasionally, a door at the back of the office opens, and out of a bright light steps a bizarre collection of workers. A sailor, an ice skater, a diver, a spaceman… all those jobs you only ever dreamed of doing are made flesh and blood in Gob Squad’s office – but only for a moment.