Heavy Load: Washing Dirty Laundry In Public, 2017

Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NYC

Photo credits: David Ashford


HEAVY LOAD: Washing soiled laundry in public

..."Deborah's performance, HEAVY LOAD: Washing soiled laundry in public, spins the drudgery of everyday laundry as a metaphor for women’s role in today’s patriarchal society. Highlighting the otherwise invisible labor of mothers, caretakers, and domestic help, which bears the brunt of society’s mud, her performance raises questions about class, labor, gender, modernity, and privilege.
Wasserman speaks about the process of washing away stained and distressed fabrics as a cleansing ritual, discharging one’s feelings of being ‘stained’.  Exposing dirty laundry to light brings out feelings of shame and guilt which are often hidden and folded away. The artist seeks to point to the transformational power of women, who, when in the position of being domestic laborers, often bring compassion to their work and in doing so, cultivate a more humanitarian society.
Utilizing the geography of Socrates Sculpture Park, the artist will perform a cycle of washing, drying and folding, a four-hour slice of the eternal cleaning that is part of women's motherly and domestic duties throughout the world..."