Work considers the limitations we accept in order to obtain success: the constraints erected by the desires and fears that drive our initial ambitions; the stricture of further aspirations that becomes necessary to maintain the success we achieve; and the restrictions inherent to a life in an office-cube, within a numbered building, on a gridded city.
The series reveals moments of limitation, as demonstrated by subjects who are themselves the hard labor and emerging leaders of New York’s most profitable enterprises. The project does not intend to repudiate individual pursuits of success but to illuminate the tensions and sacrifices required to achieve such success. Consequently, the viewer is asked to consider the same question as the subject: is there sustenance in your hard work and satisfaction in its completion, or is this simply an economic transaction, dollars in exchange for hours, security swapped for autonomy? Or as the subjects might put it, does the return justify the investment?