What is a work?

-The Sustainable Woman examines work and sustainability with her assistants

| YEAR : 2016 | TECHNIQUE : Research, process, dialouge, workshops, performative actions | TIME: 3weeks |

The project as a whole, Day 1-14 in the realityshow can be followed at: https://vadarettarbete.wordpress.com/

Day 1 – First day

Skärmavbild 2016-09-07 kl. 16.07.49

Realityshow – Episode 1

At the end of each day, The Sustainable Woman and the assistants record a video diary about their experiences, they answer questions like: -What have I done for work today? -How did I experience the working day? -Have I got any new thoughts or teachings about work and sustainability?


Day 8 – The assistants digging a pit

What is meaningful and meaningless work and what power structures are in the workplace?
THE SUSTAINABLE WOMAN rests and gives instructions while the assistants dig a pit after specific measurements – and then have to refill it.

Skärmavbild 2016-09-07 kl. 16.41.19

Read article: http://sla.se/skovde/2016/06/30/konstnarligt-gravande


The Sustainanble Woman is exploring work and sustainability with her assistants – nine youths having a summerjob. The project was carried out in collaboration with Skövde Art Museum. The youths were hired for three weeks – for their first paid job – in order to explore different perspectives about what a work is and can be.

The project is process-oriented and structured as a realityshow, where every day is a new episode. The youths are the protagonists and co-workers in artwork. They participate in dialouges and workshops, do interviews and perform actions to explore the topic, they test thoughts and ideas practically and performatively.

How do young people look at the future, life and work life?
How do they look at the their survival and sustainability in an (for human) unsustainable structure and contemporary society?

What is a work?
What is the view of paid / unpaid work in our society?
How are different jobs valued?
How can we survive and become more sustainable – have time to prioritize things that are important and delightful, things that are not just a way to make life and economy working?
What methods and strategies are there?


Can they help The Sustainable Woman to become more sustainable?


What tasks have been meaningful, meaningless, meaningful, why?

Quotes of assistants from last day’s evaluation:
“For me, it´s been very meaningful to discuss around so many different areas. Haven´t been so good at it and have never dared to do it before because I’ve mostly been afraid of conflicts. So this was a good workout. ”

“It has been meaningful to talk and discuss but meaningless that we had to dug a pit and that we sat in the sunbeds at Maxi (foodstore).”

“All tasks have been equally meaningful because they all paid the same salary. It doesn´t matter how meaningful the task was when it was performed. The only thing that matters is how much money I get. ”

“For Monique (The Sustainable Woman), everything was meaningful, but the only thing I felt was not pointless was the visit to the elderly care. What we might have to learn was things I already knew. I think I’ve taken up most views / ways to be sustainable and so. ”

“All tasks have been meaningful for at least one person. However, some itasks has been more or less meaningful to me. Digging did not give me anything but blisters in my palm. “

Monique Wernhamn