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3rd Sept. 

Timing announced later

“Thank you for keeping us alive”

In 1979 for almost a year Mierle Laderman Ukeles met over 8500 employees of the New York Sanitation Department, shaking hands with each of them and saying, “Thank you for keeping New York City alive”.  In this performance piece, artists put a spotlight on those members of human society that often are victims of negative words in the public and private sphere. Yet, society can’t exist without blue-collar workers although they are the most exposed to economic oppression.
Following the criterion of economic oppression in terms of post-humanistic narration domestic and farm animals are a group of beings that are the most exploited. Massive industrialization of agriculture and production is fulfilled often with abuse and violation, also on a molecular level. Their existence is strongly contingent to ours to the point that domestic species are in many cases no longer able to live without their tormentor. However changes are being made and empathic and sympathetic approaches to domestic animals are more common. This narration performance “Thank you for keeping us alive” is an act of appreciation of animal workers within our interspecies community. It underlines the importance of domestic animals in the context of the history of humanity. 
In this performance, which will be streamed online, the performer will thank domestic animals (cows, chickens, dogs) from a farm in East of Iceland for keeping us - humans alive.
The piece is produced in collaboration with the Center for Art and Culture in Fljotsdalsherad (MMF), Sláturhúsið.

About the artist:

Wiola Ujazdowska is an art worker, performer and curator living in Iceland. 
She holds an M.A in Art Theory from Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland where she also studied Painting at the Department of Fine Arts in Lech Wolski master studio. 
2012-2013 she studied in CICS, Cologne, Germany. Since 2014 she has been based in Reykjavik. Her works have been shown in the U.S.A, Portugal, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Iceland and are in private collections in Germany, UK, Poland and Iceland.
Ujazdowskas practice is balancing between socially engaged art, happenings/performances, video and paintings in which she talks about experiences of excluded groups in Nordic societies to show global phenomenons in a local context. She is mostly focusing on the group that she is most familiar with - working class migrants from East Europe. Methodology that she uses in her projects is inspired by anthropology and literature studies focused on linguistic processes of othering, post-humanistic perspectives on the other and philosophical concepts of identity and labor. Her practice is a rejection of the traditional way of making artworks in favor of collective creation and recycling already existing objects and materials to avoid overproduction of art.
Ujazdowska also works as curator in MMF/Slaturhusid in Egilsstadir, East of Iceland and is represented by a DESA UNICUM- biggest and oldest national polish art auction house.

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