Sarah Brown
Ivor Southwood

Manual Labours: The Complaining Body

2016


Posters, slideshow on tablet.

Part of Manual Labours: The Complaining Body

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.


Manual Labours: The Complaining Body was 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.

The project was 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, exploring the physical and emotional effects of complaining, receiving complaints and not being able to complain in the context of work.

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

We believe that workers who dance, play and sing together will also fight together for their rights: An evening of drinking and playing games about jobseeking, careers, workplaces and after-work moaning. (Title quote from Fanniah M. Cohn, International Ladies Garments Workers Union, 1933)







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