Conceived by AGO artist-in-residence Heather Goodchild, Uniform Factory acts as both a training facility and a romanticized vision of the manufacturing process. In this space Goodchild replicates a fully functioning industrial garment factory in which volunteers are trained to fabricate uniforms that form part of a larger artwork for the artist's upcoming Nuit Blanche performance. The installation serves as a commentary on our current marketplace in which most products are made abroad while local manufacturing jobs are dwindling. This project offers a rose-tinted vision of past labour practices as a way to question our current systems and imagine change for the future.
Uniform Factory embodies the following ideals:
WORKING WITH OTHERS TOWARDS A COMMON PURPOSE
KNOWING THAT YOUR SKILLED WORK IS USEFUL TO YOUR COMMUNITY
MANUFACTURING GOODS CELEBRATED FOR THEIR QUALITY AND CRAFTSMANSHIP
TAKING PRIDE IN PURCHASING LOCALLY FABRICATED PRODUCTS
Referencing a diversity of ideas from the Shaker notion of object-making as a kind of prayer, to early 20th-century worker propaganda, Uniform Factory seeks to lift the dark stain of the sweatshop from the satisfaction of making an object with pride and care.