“The Client” is a project by “Welcome To My Faith In You,” an artistic collaboration between MFA Candidate Gray Swartzel and Verónica Vega. The video is included in “Color” at the CICA Museum in Gimbo, South Korea from November 3 to 19.
“The Client” negotiates contemporary relationships with currency and transaction through the lives of the entertainer and her client. Based upon observed interactions among sex workers and the roles they must adorn for their clients, a young businessman is depicted collecting cash before going to visit the entertainer’s apartment, where the two act out a childhood birthday party. Proclaiming, “I’ll take care of you” and “I’ll also take your money if it calms you down and helps you sleep at night,” they stage a symbiotic relationship based upon cooperation. A form of new-age therapy, the client leaves his session with a sense of peaceful accord, and she leaves with his money. The highest paid sex workers have an expert fluency in relational interaction, which serves as an affecting gift to those who can afford to indulge. The profession is forbidden largely because women’s ability to swiftly maneuver men’s emotions to pacify the masculine sentiment offers a threat to the institution of patriarchy and its valued states of aggression and anger. While the birthday boy is allowed to digress into the depths of his childhood psyche, the harlequin must use wit to thwart his master’s plan and ultimately earn her love.