The Employee was a year-long performance project that took place from Sept. 15, 2020 until Oct. 15, 2021. The work responded to the staffing conditions of the Forest City Gallery artist-run centre in London, Ontario, the operations of which are managed by a single staff member paid part-time hours. This operational deficit implicitly demands constant unpaid overtime to maintain the gallery's administration, funding, communications, and programming.
Schwebel’s artistic work was to shift this structural lack into visibility, by obtaining arts funding and then contracting a supplementary worker to perform as a grant-writer on behalf of the gallery, applying his funding to pay for this work. The projected outcome of the work was potentially to increase the centre's operating budget such that they would be able to hire an additional staff member. This goal was not achieved. The performance of grant-writing was enacted by Camille-Zoé Valcourt Synnott.
The Employee financed and documented a year of funding applications written by the hiree on behalf of the Forest City Gallery.
The Employee was funded by a grant from The Canada Council for the Arts. A publication of the project archives will be forthcoming.