Work to Rule/ Worker Rule (1980)
A wall 8 foot high and 42 feet in length was fitted with ten standard plywood doors 6’8” x 32”. Doors and jambs alternated left and right throughout the length of the wall. Wall and doors were painted a matt white. Standard hardware (hinges, door handles and strikes) were employed throughout. The wall was arranged in the space in such a way that either side could be independently viewed from most given points in the space. Two weeks prior to the opening of the exhibition, two advertisements were placed in the job listings section of Toronto’s two major daily Newspapers, the Sun and the Star. The Star’s advertisement requested that a retired professional sign painter, wishing to work for a two to five day period painting a sign, contact the organizers of Warehouse 222 exhibition. The Sun advertisement requested that a professional sign painter presently unemployed contact the organizers. In individual interview sessions, both painters were given the opportunity to work either for a fixed hourly rate commensurate with the average hourly wage for a sign painter in the employ of a company, or to offer a quote for the work to be undertaken. Each painter chosen was given a work description outlining the task and the method to be employed. Two slogans Work to Rule and Worker Rule were painted one letter to each door, one slogan either side of the wall. The painters began on the first day of the exhibition and worked from left to right.
Work to Rule/ Worker Rule 1980/2008, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Manukau City, New Zealand. Photographer John Collie; Curators Emma Bugden and Stephen Cleland; Technician Murray Green; Senior Sign Writer Terry Maitland; Apprentice: Maree Quinn