We received the following statement of support from Mika Rottenberg, the featured artist of Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art’s opening exhibition.
I want to express my support and solidarity with the ‘Justice for Cleaners’ campaign. I respect the decision to use the opening night of the new Goldsmiths CCA, and my exhibition, as a way to publicly promote this issue. I hope that this will pressure the university management to reconsider their policy regarding the outsourcing of their cleaning force to ISS, a company that from my understanding treats their employees unfairly. I hope that the protest will help make visible the hidden labor and fragments of vital energy and exploitation that are embedded in everything we consume and produce. I urge Goldsmiths Management to change their policy and hire the cleaning force in house as the valuable Goldsmiths employees they are, providing them with fair and gainful working conditions. I realize how the protest might effect the opening evening and place myself, and the Goldsmiths CCA staff, in an awkward position, since I was informed that they too all fully support this campaign. I’ve been thinking a lot about the right thing to do, how best to support this campaign, and my personal responsibility within this situation, especially given that my work deals in parts with hidden labor. My conclusion is that the healthiest and most productive action for the promotion of this issue, as well as out of respect to the CCA curatorial and installation teams hard work, is to carry on with the exhibition as planned, and perhaps by that help to provide more visibility for the campaign as well as the debate around the connection between art and activism, ethics and esthetics and the hypocrisies and contradictions that are part of our contemporary reality.Mika Rottenberg
Monday 3rd September 2018.