elin o'Hara slavick
United States, born 1965
Terry Le Blanc and Sherry Puckett, Servers, The Iberian Restaurant, New Iberia, Louisiana, 1999, from the series Workers Dreaming
Dye coupler print
29 ¾ x 29 ⅛ in.
Weatherspoon Art Museum. Museum purchase with funds from the Joseph R. Morton Acquisition Endowment, 2006
In her series Workers Dreaming, University of North Carolina professor elin o’Hara slavick conflates the space between labor and leisure, agency and servitude. She asked her subjects to close their eyes and imagine something joyful before she took their picture. She states, “Although our eyes are open, we are often blind to beauty, to injustice, to cultural difference and to class structure. While the workers' eyes are closed in my photographs, they see and know their situation intimately. Denying us their gaze but offering us a meditative space, they are empowered, lost in their own imaginings, desires, hopes and self-consciousness.” Similar in dress and physical attributes, these servers appear to be related familially as well as socioeconomically.
© elin o'Hara slavick