Communal Knowledge at Work is a public programme that foregrounds The Showroom’s ongoing programme of local work, Communal Knowledge. This programme often operates behind the scenes, through regular conversation and collaboration with artists, researchers, school students, educators, neighbours, community activists and local groups. Workshops, events, artworks and publishing use pedagogy, research and collaboration to explore the histories of feminism, political organising and the community arts movement as well as art practices taking place now.
Communal Knowledge at Work will unfold in a setting designed by London-based collective Tori Ga Happi, built using materials recycled from The Showroom’s previous exhibition to create a multi-functional space for working, watching, meeting and seeing.
Over six weeks a selection of ongoing Communal Knowledge projects will be brought together in a variety of formats to create new forms of cooperation, new connections and new relationships, to build a community that is connected and has agency, in attempt to sit outside the logic of state and market and to exercise communal control over issues and topics.
Resources from various projects will be installed within the Tori Ga Happi designed space for the duration. These will include: the Schooling & Culture Archive, Uriel Orlow’s medicinal garden reference library and planting station, showreels from Fourth Feathers TV and People Make Videos, a projection of Starting to Happen (1974) a video by Liberation Films, and a Cinenova viewing station.
Alongside these, the following projects will take up residency, occupying the space to work, discuss and produce:
Prior to the public opening on 12 July, Werker Magazine will work with Schooling & Culture to collectively edit and produce a new issue of the S&C journal, a practical contribution to the current debate on the state of secondary education.
Teresa Cisneros of Agency for Agency will work with a group of young people as co-researchers towards Manual for Living & Agency.
Fourth Feathers and artist Anton Kats will produce further episodes for the ongoing open community-based TV station FFTV.
Sensing Salon – drawing from each other's practices Denise Ferreira da Silva and Valentina Desideri will be working with The Showroom on a series of meetings and workshops researching different kinds of healing practices. For the full Healing Salon programme and details of how to book see here
Other Communal Knowledge projects will take the form of workshops and events:
Uriel Orlow and Penfold Community Hub
In the lead up to Orlow’s forthcoming exhibition in the autumn, work will continue on developing a local medicinal garden at the Penfold Community Hub and exploring the plants’ uses. Events and workshops will include:
• Friday 15 July, 2–4pm – Penfold Community Hub medicinal plants and garden sale, Free, just turn up!
• Wednesday 20 July, 2–4pm – Medicinal garden launch and tour with Uriel Orlow and Michael Heinrich. Free, book here
• Wednesday 27 July, 2–4pm – Putting the Medicinal Garden to use workshop with Uriel Orlow and Jeanne-Lyse Sibaud. Free, book here
People Make Videos: UK Community Video from the 1970s to now
Since early 2015 Ed Webb-Ingall and four local groups have been working together to address the history of community video practice in London from the 1970s. The groups have worked to produce new videos that enact techniques and approaches carried out in the production of the original projects in 1970s.
• Launch of People Make Videos a Manual part of the opening night. Free, just turn up!
• Saturday 16 July, 2–5pm – People Make Videos will lead a workshop on how to run your own community video project. Free, book here
Stephanie Schober & Dance Company
Supported by Westminster Adult Education Services this free 6-week programme offers a unique opportunity for adults and children to work together in a series of dance and art sessions.
• Every Saturday from 9 July – 13 August, 11am–12.30pm free dance workshops in the upstairs studio. The course is aimed at mothers, fathers, grandparents or carers with children aged 6 – 14, who are resident in Westminster. Participants do not need any previous experience in either dance or art to be able to take part. Free, book here
• Saturday 6 August, 1–4pm – Public Showcase and in conversation with dance artist and writer Martin Hargreaves (Programme Leader, MA The Body in Performance at Trinity Laban). Free, just turn up!
One-off events and workshops will also be held with Justice 4 Domestic Workers, sorryyoufeeluncomfortable, Project Alchemy, and more to be announced.
Communal Knowledge is generously supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s Charity, John Lyon’s Charity and Garfield Weston Foundation.
Communal Knowledge at Work is additionally supported by Westminster City Council through the Create Church Street fund.
Communal Knowledge is a programme of collaborative projects where artists and designers are invited to work with community groups, organisations, schools and individuals from The Showroom’s neighbourhood.More
A digital collection of selected works from Cinenova distribution available for viewing at The Showroom.