Alicja Rogalska

Tear Dealer, 2014

On a high street lined with pawnshops, second-hand shops and loan sharks in Lublin, south east Poland, ‘Tear Dealer’ opened for a few days in July 2014.

In the specially arranged premises, participants produced and sold their tears for €25 for 3ml (just over half a teaspoon). The project constituted a perverse reversal of the logic of affective labour, allowing people to collectively express and capitalise on their feelings of despair, anger, sadness and frustration in a supportive, yet in a suitably exploitative environment.

The collected tears became a poetic monument of unemployment, affective labour and commercialisation of emotions.

Made in collaboration with Łukasz Surowiec. Commissioned by Rewiry – Socially Engaged Art Workshop in Lublin and curated by Szymon Pietrasiewicz.