WEATHERING THE WORKFORCE
Written on the 13 March 2015 by Laura Daquino
IF you've ever thought about relocating your office to the beach, two men are testing the waters for you this weekend, braving bull sharks and all.
Gavin Webber and Josh Thompson, from the Gold Coast's first professional contemporary dance company The Farm, are setting up office on a sandbar at Currumbin Creek today through to Sunday as part of Bleach Festival.
Tide forms part of a wider body of work, Cockfight, which is a poetic look at the power play that so often occurs between men.
Webber says there are myriad connotations the performance will conjure up, but one interpretation can definitely be agreed upon.
"It's really about a moment of a shift in power between an older man and younger man in an office - a fight for that alpha position - played out by Josh in his twenties and me in my forties," says Webber.
"However, there are many ways to read the performance and we don't want to limit ourselves to one of them."
Webber says other potential angles are work-life balance, flexible working conditions, "weathering the workforce" and climate change.
"Without getting too esoteric, there is a sense about the purpose of the work you do, the relationship you have with this and where it is leading," he says.
"There is a bit of a dystopian futility to the performance channelling the legend of Sisyphus in Greek Mythology where he pushes a rock up the hill every day and at the end of every day it rolls down so for eternity he is just pushing this rock and not getting anywhere this is an all too common workplace feeling.
"Then there is the notion of climate change resonating with our urban sphere, a collective phobia that our weather is really changing, referring back to two people trying to continue doing their jobs while being part of a sinking civilisation."
Webber says the idea for Tide surfaced after a few late night beers and "suddenly became something we had to do" despite the impending challenges.
"It will be a massive challenge to do 48 hours out there and the only way we can imagine that we will be able to deal with the fatigue is to stay in character," he says.
"Whether you are doing what we're doing or working from an office, you just have to be reactive and responsive to deal with what's thrown up in front of you it's part of good working practice.
"We don't know exactly what happens to your skin 48 hours in salt water the jury is still out on this and there was a bit of a mention of bull sharks but we are just trying not to think about this."
Perhaps an indication of where he currently stands in the power play, Webber says he will "jump on Josh" if a shark comes along.
Webber and Thompson will also be joined by friend Ben Ely from Australian rock band Regurgitator, also from The Farm, who will sit in a rowboat playing music picked up by a short distance FM signal.
Webber says Ely will be a conduit to the audience who he invites to visit at any time considering the men won't be bringing any food or water but also perhaps a mediator if the going gets a little too tough.