This is the first instalment of LOVE AND WAGE LABOUR IN THE AGE OF CAPITALIST PANDEMIC. These instalments are journal entries entitled with only their date. I wanted to try to document this time, the time of COVID-19. It struck me that I was having conversations with people who were all having unique experiences of this pandemic, and that most of these conversations, like all memories, would fall away. I wanted to document it. These are my experiences only. I hope you find something in them. – Madeleine
A special day – without work – friends – an artwork
Today was a special day. I was not at work. I photographed the second part of an eight part tattoo project with my friends. It’s part of a memory work, a performance involving eight tattoos which describe a memory – the happiest memory – of the performer’s life. It’s really wonderful to watch my friends make work they love.
Today was special. The weather cleared. I didn’t wear tights underneath my dress, or a coat, when I walked to the shops. We ate breakfast together, and lunch, the three of us, and poked tattoos and took photographs and listened to music. Each hour it’s like I woke with a fright and realised I must have forgotten about something. Each hour I felt as if I must be late for work, or have plans for this evening. In fact, I don’t. Today was special because it was just for me and my friends and an artwork. Days ‘just for me’, days in which I am not committed, until a certain hour, to the servitude of capitalism, induce guilt. Perhaps instead of relaxing I should be trying to get more paid writing work, or researching COVID-19, a subject I’m narrowly avoiding until I’m forced to engage. Oh – I am forced to engage. My boss just cut my hours by 20% due to fewer customers through the door. Have a nice day!
Today was special. I wore what I wanted. I listened to music, padded about in my socks, gently tidied my bedroom and placed my Paris postcards on the wall. I took pictures of the artwork happening in my home, and in my garden. The light was clean, the only light that makes ugly neighbourhoods look positive and beautiful. I actually noticed the flowers on the trees outside, who survived the winter and grew again out of themselves. I did not handle cash. I did not serve beverages. I did not engage conversation with paying customers who pay for smiles and ‘good vibes’. No. Today was mine.