Image: Denver 2. See more here.
Introducing Beth Harris (lives and works in New York), participating in New Poetics of Labor 2018.
Beth Harris’s work focuses on themes centered around the human experience and human condition. With each series she attempts to capture and produce aesthetically pleasing imagery, stark realities and universal themes. Harris focuses on sharing each image with a wide audience, breaking down boundaries and spreading her work across boarders.
Harris’s latest series on labor, explores the changing work force in the construction industry in the United States. The country’s construction industry is swamped with work, with spending on new projects peaking around $1 trillion. However, the dollars and demand can’t seem to fix the industry’s persistent labor shortages. With the current lack of skilled laborers, there is a barrier to the current boom in the industry. General contractors and construction businesses are having a difficult time finding qualified skilled labor in the United States, due to older workers retiring, and ever since the recession of the 2000’s. A whole generation of younger workers is no longer considering construction as a viable career option. As difficulties are found in filling positions, the labor market is struggling to remain fresh and youthful in the industry. Vocational education has been disappearing from high schools, and the message that college is necessary for a successful career is broadcast to young students. The youth demographic is not pursuing building trades, despite the potential for high wages, high demand, and even self employment. Until younger students begin entering the trades, the industry may continue to suffer from these shortfalls.
Harris is capturing this time in the construction industry, in an effort to explore changing trends and to highlight a shift in the work force.
See more here.
Additional work by Harris below: