Deborah Wasserman (A '98)

HEAVY LOAD: Washing soiled laundry In Public

All Day 

This performance spins the drudgery of everyday laundry. Highlighting the otherwise invisible labor of mothers, caretakers, and domestic help, her performance raises questions about class, labor, gender, modernity, and privilege. 

Wasserman speaks about the process of washing away stained and distressed fabrics not only as a physical task but also as a cleansing ritual, discharging one’s feelings of being ‘stained’. The artist seeks to point to the transformational power of women, who often bring compassion to their work and in doing so, cultivate a more humanitarian society. 

Taking the idea of hard work to an extreme, the artist will challenge her own physical endurance by carrying heavy bags of soiled clothing, lugging water back forth and scrubbing piles of garments and house linens. Utilizing the geography of Socrates, the artist will perform a cycle of washing, drying and folding. The cycle will repeat throughout other locations in the park, a four-hour slice of the eternal cleaning that is part of women's motherly and domestic duties throughout the world.

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and raised in Israel, Deborah Wasserman is currently living and working in Queens, NYC. She is a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. Deborah Wasserman has received grants from the Experimental Television Center, Aljira Center for the Arts and the America-Israel cultural foundation. Her work has been exhibited in the USA, Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany and Israel, in such venues as The Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Tel Aviv Museum of the Arts, The World Wide Video Festival, White Columns, Gale Gates Gallery, GenArt and A.I.R gallery.