Piotr Szyhalski – COVID-19 Labor Camp Report
January 19 – February 5
THE ANDERSON and VCUarts Department of Graphic Design are pleased to present Piotr Szyhalski / Labor Camp, COVID-19: Labor Camp Report Project. Offering incisive real-time commentary, Szyhalski’s project tracks the public turmoil and private anxiety of the first 255 days of the COVID 19 pandemic, from March 24–November 3 2020. Each day, Szyhalski produced a hand drawn poster which was then prepared for print and digital distribution, including to the artist’s @laborcamp Instagram account. The collective posters—displayed wheatpasted directly to the gallery walls in a monumental, and slightly ominous, calendar-like grid—offer a raw and wry record of the waves of frustration, fear, and even boredom which swept over individuals and communities in those tumultuous days; days and waves in which we are still awash.
For more information on the project, including statements on the events or ideas that inspired individual posters, visitors are encouraged to visit:
Piotr Szyhalski is a Polish-born and trained multimedia artist working in the United States since 1990. The Minneapolis-based artist’s wide-ranging practice encompasses an array of media and genres, including poster designs, drawings, mail art, photographs, painted murals, prints, web-based digital art, sound art, large-scale installations, and public performances. In 1998, he established his ongoing project Labor Camp. Szyhalski’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and is in the collections of KADIST (Paris/San Francisco), Minneapolis Institute of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Walker Art Center, and Weisman Art Museum, among others. Recent monographs include COVID-19 Labor Camp Report (2021) and Piotr Szyhalski: We Are Working All the Time (2020, Weisman Art Museum), which accompanies his upcoming survey in 2022. The recipient of multiple commissions and awards, Szyhalski is the 2021–22 contributing artist to the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, New York, and a professor of media arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. @laborcamp, laborcamp.org