Bodies of Work

Vitalstatistix’s Contemporary Communities initiative

Bodies of Work is Vitalstatistix’s latest multi-year Contemporary Communities project, exploring the broad territory of the nature of labour/work, labour organising and rights, artists as workers, and the future of work.

Bodies of Work includes development and commissioning of new works by Australian artists – which in 2021 commenced with a ten-day artist lab around May Day, and then the premiere of Natalie Harkin’s reckoning with Aboriginal women’s stories of domestic labour, APRON-SORROW / SOVEREIGN-TEA, in October with Tarnanthi/ the Art Gallery of South Australia.

The project also includes a series of other symposiums and curated labs, union and community work, and other activism/activities.

In 2022 we are supporting the development of three new works: The Read by Amrita Hepi with Tilly Lawless, Goddess Ball’s Fun House by amira.h. and Monte Masi, and Elegy of the Pale Lion by eDuard Helmbold and Motus Collective.

Alongside, we will produce a podcast, and support two major union events, May Day on Sunday 1 May, and the 150th anniversary of the Maritime Union of Australia, on Friday 19 August.

Finally we will produce a symposium and think tank called The Gig is Up: Artists Combatting Precarity.


The Gig is Up: Artists Combatting Precarity
Presented by Vitalstatistix and Reset Arts and Culture

The Gig is Up: Artists Combatting Precarity will explore economic and employment precarity amongst artists in Australia, and the organising and policy approaches that can affect positive changes to artists’ working lives and economic security.

The project is not aiming to provide further evidence on the prevalence of precarity in the sector, which is not disputed. It is about developing and putting forward meaningful solutions in a ground up way. The project views ‘policy’ in the broadest sense and through a lens of activist/workers education and leadership development, and consciousness raising traditions of trade union and feminist movements.

In this initial symposium, participating artists will hear from a range of activists and thinkers, from within and outside of the cultural sector, and begin developing a co-authored manifesto/ commitment to action, in response. The symposium will kick off a larger process of developing activist skills and labour rights literacy for artists in 2023.

27 – 29 OCTOBER Stay tuned for details
Waterside, 11 Nile St, Port Adelaide, Kaurna Yerta