Manual Labours: The Complaining Body

5 Apr 2016 – 10 Apr 2016

The Showroom

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Numerous buses from central London stop on the Edgware Road within a few minutes walk of the space, including the 6, 16, 98, 332 and 414.
  • The Showroom is a short walk from Edgware Road underground station, which is served by the Hammersmith and City, Circle and Bakerloo lines.

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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 throughBreastbeating - 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.

Exhibiting artists

Sarah Browne


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