Since the early eighties Tony Labat has been an important participant in the California performance and video scene. A pioneer of video installations, his work often identifies the “outsider”, whether the artist or the immigrant. Born in Cuba, he makes frequent commentary on displacement and marginalization. In Day Labor: Mapping the Outside… he sets up a surveillance system from his studio window, observing day workers waiting to be picked up for temporary work. The split-screen video and the workers themselves divide into groups of visual codes: painters, carpenters, gardeners, etc. The artist is mimicking institutional surveillance, while participating in the workers passivity.


tony labat