Water Work is a durational performance exploring the notion of women’s labour in the particular societal context of Nigeria. Whilst the action in the performance is physically tasking it does not exert force or pressure but is seemingly positioned on the receiving end of it.
In the film Water Work, a uniformed figure appears under an outburst of water from a tanker (the likes of which are frequently seen on Lagos roads delivering water to reservoirs in blocks of flats). A water pump attached to the tank ferociously offloads the water at a rate of 500 gallons per minute. A month’s supply of water for four families soon floods the ground disappearing into sewers in the space of 20 minutes. As an action performed at the National Museum in Lagos, tactful links are drawn to discourses around power, (in)equality and access to resources.
The NYSC uniform is a recurring motif in other performances by Eca Eps where there are no specific references made to it, but it functions as a tool for dialogue about women’s work in public life.