The Showroom

Manual Labours: The Complaining Body with Sarah Browne, Hamish MacPherson and Ivor Southwood


5 – 10 April 2016

Preview: Tuesday 5 April, 6.30–8.30pm

Exhibition open Wednesday 6 – Saturday 9 April, 12–6pm

Closing event: Sunday 10 April, 3-6pm

Manual Labours present a week-long programme of events and new commissions at The Showroom by artist Sarah Browne, choreographer Hamish MacPherson and writer Ivor Southwood.

Manual Labours: The Complaining Body is initiated by Sophie Hope and Jenny Richards in partnership with The Showroom; In Certain Places, Preston; and Movement, Worcester. Developed from a series of workshops with call centre workers in a London Borough Council, commuters on a train station platform, and University staff dealing with student complaints, Manual Labours: The Complaining Body explores the physical and emotional effects of complaining, receiving complaints and not being able to complain in the context of work.

At The Showroom, Sarah Browne presents a new film Report to an Academy, drawing from the Kafka story of the time title, exploring the contemporary academic environment as a neoliberal workplace. Ivor South-wood launches his essay, The Uncomplaining Body, which investigates the culture of a large workplace from the perspective of an outsourced temporary cleaner/porter; and Hamish MacPherson examines the rituals of complaining through Breastbeating - a card game simulating an after-work pub session, a performance workshop and a games evening.

Events programme:
Wednesday 6 April, 6.30–8.30pm: Film screening followed by a discussion between artists Sarah Browne and Saoirse Wall

Thursday 7 April, 6.30–8.30pm: A complaining games night curated by Hamish MacPherson

Sunday 10 April, 12–4pm: Complaining workshop and performance with Hamish MacPherson and 3–6pm: Exhibition closing event.

Manual Labours: The Complaining Body is the second stage of the practice based research project Manual Labours initiated by Sophie Hope and Jenny Richards exploring people’s physical relationships to work.

Manual Labours: The Complaining Body is developed in partnership with The Showroom, London; In Certain Places, Preston and Movement and Division of Labour, Worcester. Manual Labours : The Complaining Body is supported by Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts, The Elephant Trust, The Birkbeck/Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund and Birkbeck University Widening Access.

To keep up to date or contribute to the project please email [email protected].

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    Event Manual Labours: Thunderous grumbling under cover of darkness | Performance workshop

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    Event Manual Labours: Report to an Academy | Film screening and discussion

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    Audio Manual Labours: The Complaining Body: Sarah Browne in Conversation with Saoirse Wall

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    Text Manual Labours: The Complaining Body, Manuals and Publications

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    Event Manual Labours: The Complaining Body, Reading Group 1

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    Event Manual Labours:The Office(less) Christmas Party