Dressed in a business suit in the midst of a typical working day
Tomáš Werner visits the city’s financial district and asks random office workers to tie his tie. The video records his performance as well as
the reactions of the people participating. Some of the unsuspecting passer-bys offered to wear the tie on themselves and then handed it back to the artist, while others felt comfortable to cross the invisible boundary of personal space and tied the tie around Werner’s neck.
A prospective employee’s ability to tie a tie is similar to how tying shoelaces can be intimidating for a child seeking to join the adult world. With this naiveté of a child Werner asks for help and learns from those for whom tying a tie is an everyday routine. This exchange in position – tying another’s tie brings surprising situations. Perhaps, the white collar and tie are no longer the most visible symbols that distinguish the successful from the unsuccessful? Today, casual informality is becoming a new form of demonstrating personal freedom and also a measurement of success. Meanwhile the army of office workers with average wages and average social status are obliged
to wear a suit and tie as a demonstration of both their validity and servility.