The Emotional Labor Union
(2016, ongoing)

The Emotional Labor Union (ELU) is a fictional organization that claims to represent everyone who engages in emotional labor.

Initially commissioned for Once More, with Feeling (2016), curated by Chelsea Haines for EFA Project Space (NYC), the ELU has also been exhibited as part of de-leb (2018) at Banner Repeater (London).

The Emotional Labor Union
Once More, With Feeling group exhibition
EFA Project Space (NYC)
Book, Vaseline, silicone, plastic inflatable chairs, various scents and perfumes, plastic string, metal book rack, “out of stock” cards for other publications.

A project in three parts: sculptural installation, publication, and events. The publication was a union handbook and history and was physically interrupted by various sense-stimulating substances. The installation in the gallery space mimicked an organizations waiting room/lobby, replete with out of stock pamphlets and a water-feature-like curtain. Programs included The Emotional Labor Union Town Hall Meeting and a workshop, The Emotional Labor Movement, developed in collaboration with movement therapist Kendra Kambestad.

The Emotional Labor Union
de-leb group exhibition
Banner Repeater (London)
Books, shelves, wall appliqué

Focusing on the history and handbook of the Emotional Labor Union, the de-leb exhibition also made possible the publishing of the handbook by Banner Repeater. The publication is available in the Banner Repeater Shop.

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The Emotional Labor Union , 2016, installation view, Elizabeth Foundation for The Arts Project Space, NYC

The Emotional Labor Union, 2016, installation view, Elizabeth Foundation for The Arts Project Space, NYC


Excerpts from The Emotional Labor Union History & Handbook