Remapped Sweeper Route, 2016

Ballpoint ink on copy paper
Set of 6 works
29.7 x 35 cm each
Sector map courtesy of Bee’ah2

Realised as part of the Sharjah Art Foundation’s March Project 2016, Sweeping (2016) was a daily performance project unfolding in the streets surrounding the Sharjah Art Museum that repositioned sanitation work as art practice. Divecha replotted the usual routes followed by the five sweepers who clean these streets so that they ended outside the museum’s entrance, where a row of green trash-filled bags gradually accumulated through the morning, drawing attention to the sweeper’s necessary but unacknowledged labour and its relationship to the edifice of the museum. The Remapped Sweeper Route (2016) series is a set of working drawings Divecha made for Sweeping. Executed using ball point pen—a different colour for each of the sweepers he collaborated with—on photocopies of a map of the neighbourhood he obtained from Bee’ah, Sharjah’s environmental and waste management company, these modest drawings trace the cartographies of their daily labour, inscribing them onto an official representation of the city. They evoke On Kawara’s seminal I Went (1968–79), subtly recasting its existential proclamation of presence as a declaration of the indispensable contributions of these otherwise overlooked and invisible bodies.

2018 © Vikram Divecha