Rest in Fear, 2019 – Mix Media, Variable Dimension — Collective Work: Pendulum
Showed at Biennale Jogja XV Equator #5 (2019) – Jogja National Museum, Indonesia
Most employees in a variety of jobs and professions rarely have a (comfortable) space to rest. Often times they sneaks out between shifts to have a little bit of rest. At this point, their ‘break’ feels more like a fearsome ritual, full of risks of discovery from their supervisors or the prying eyes of customers. A break room or a proper space to rest is needed because no matter how much energy the employees have, they would eventually need time to replenish that energy. These employees have been exploited as such, it almost seemed like they’ve been degraded to the likes of a machine that don’t need rest.
We should not only understand the space to rest as a mere physical thing. This is not only a simple matter of an area with height, width, and distance. More than that, we are talking about space in relations to the activity and construction of reality surrounding it. We also talk about how the space to rest is conceptualised and percepted.
The unheard and unexpressed voices of these employees becomes a collective awareness about the importance of having a space to rest in the workplace. The need and constructions of that space is supposed to be negotiated. We are not only talking about the decency of that particular space, but also the unavailability of the space itself. Instead of demanding a ‘decent space’ to rest, these employees negotiated with the spatial space that are available (spaces that are not meant to be used as a place to rest) in order to rest.
We provided intervention in the form of beanbag, that symbolises how these employees should be humanised. These are the few workplaces that we managed to reach: Mall, cinema, airport, co-working space, hospital, delivery services company, university, art institutes, museum, and warung burjo. We documented these construction of the space to rest in a series of staged photography. Hopefully this work would create public awareness regarding the issues of employees and their very much needed space to rest.