elin o’Hara slavick
selection from Workers Dreaming, 1999-2006
“Workers Dreaming is a series of large color photographs of workers with their eyes closed. While standing in an old brewery that is now a gallery or in a coffee shop that was once a train station, I am struck by unmarked history, by the daily forgetting of those workers who built and worked in these transformed spaces and the invisibility of the workers there today. I imagine thousands of workers capping bottles, pouring steaming liquids, wiping their brows, sweeping the floor, collecting tickets, serving coffee and daydreaming. These imaginary, remembered and actual workers inspire the photographs. I want my photographs to transform the way we see, acknowledge, interact with and remember workers today. Although our eyes are open, we are often blind to beauty, to injustice, to cultural difference and to class structure. While the workers’ eyes are closed in my photographs, they see and know their situation intimately. Denying us their gaze but offering us a meditative space, they are empowered, lost in their own imaginings, desires, hopes and self-consciousness.” - read more of her project statement here.