Human Resources is continually marveled as, a spatially impressive cube tucked into Chinatown, Los Angeles. Its eclectically diverse roster gives way to experiences that are various and consistently enjoyable. Aesthetically, an always agreed upon characteristic is its impressive size. An unassuming doorway segues into a soaring eighteen-foot tall room, gleaming white with austerity and possibility. “Cleaning Human Resources”, a site-specific performance held April 5th – 7th, is an ambitious undertaking, involving virtually every square inch of the space. Over the course of the Cleaning event artists’ Lucy Campana, Hailey Loman and Gaea Woods set out to do just that: clean Human Resources. This act of dutiful giving calls to mind a therapeutic sense of cleansing with a twist. As the artists’ note, “Cleaning collapses the typical gallery hierarchy and timeline of installation, exhibition and deinstallation into one performative event.”
The “Cleaning” performance was divided into a trifecta of to-do duties. Day one: ceiling. Day two: walls. Day three: floors. Throughout opening hours visitors could enter the gallery observe, or roll up their sleeves and interact at will. Tools, cleaning products, buckets and brooms were centrally located and offered up as a communal arsenal of domestic utilitarian objects. Having entered into Human Resources on day two, the three women worked in unison on each of the four walls (admittedly the cleaning of the ceilings would have been a site to behold, but unfortunately missed). Together, Campana, Loman, and Woods methodically analyzed each crevice, applied fresh coats of white paint, and ascended 16 foot tall A-frame ladders to carefully anoint the walls from top to bottom with household multipurpose cleaners. The challenge observed is clearly the sheer physicality and continual scrutiny, both projected and received. Yet, through the intensity of these laborious actions a fundamental result is the intangible gift of cleanliness – an oft overlooked but always appreciated state.
The care and detail directed toward, what one could consider, the overlooked minutia of Human Resources is rendered cathartic. “Cleaning”, celebrates a domestic necessity that is often unrewarded and deemed menial. Through a unified surrender and act of unreciprocated giving, “Cleaning” prevails as a unique performance from these three burgeoning artists.
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-Contributed by Bianca Guillen