Following an invitation by curator Virginie Jourdain, Schwebel familiarized himself with the terms of governance specific to the Fonds régional d’art contemporain de Lorraine (FRAC), the host of the exhibition. At the time, the organization had been without leadership for a year. This administrative shortfall, as well as the FRAC’s feminist leanings, led him to examine the working conditions of its personnel. He discovered that, to save money, the reception staff members were employed as casual workers hired through an employment agency for general hospitality staff. Engaged on the same terms as airport or hotel receptionists and hostesses, they were recognized neither for their mediation work nor as an integral part of the FRAC team. Even though no specific skill or artistic knowledge was required for their positions, they nevertheless worked at the forefront of exhibition mediation. They were the ones who interacted with visitors, answered questions, explained artists’ practices, and contextualized the artworks.
This article also appears in the issue 94 - LabourDiscover