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Image courtesy Manual Labours

Image courtesy Manual Labours

Image courtesy Manual Labours

Image courtesy Manual Labours

Image courtesy Manual Labours

Image courtesy Manual Labours

Events - Talks

Manual Labours: Building as Body: A Handbook for Investigating your Workplace

Publication Launch

10 Nov 2018

2-4.30pm

 
Join Manual Labours for the launch of their new publication Building as Body: A Handbook for Investigating the Workplace, developed following their residency at Nottingham Contemporary where they worked with staff to explore the architecture of the workplace. 
 
The Building as Body looks into the ways in which buildings and bodies are fluid ecosystems which affect each other, mapping how the circulatory, digestive and (social) reproductive systems operate in the cultural institution. What symptoms does this building suffer with? What ways can we diagnose and challenge the conditions that perpetuate them? 
 
The event includes readings from the Manual, a discussion on the process from staff and invited guests as well as a new performance titled The Complaining Body developed with Gallery Assistants at Nottingham Contemporary.
 
Contributions by Dani Child, Alba Colomo, Olwen Davies, Janna Graham, Effy Harle, Alice Pat Jackson, Maud Lannen, Katie Lloyd Thomas, Mercè Santos Mir, Cindy Sissokho and Manual Labours. More info below.
 
The publication is launched at the Wandering Womb, a new mobile kitchen and staff room, designed and built with Effy Harle and Finbar Prior as a collective remedy to the often overlooked and hidden needs of staff, for space and time to care, eat and relax during breaks and lunchtime. 
 
The event includes nourishing refreshments cooked at the Wandering Womb. Copies of Building as Body: A Handbook for Investigating your Workplace will be available at the event.
 
 
Free. Booking Required
Gallery 4
 

 

The Complaining Body performance 
 
What is it like to occupy a gallery space and neither be a visitor, nor the exhibit? What is it like to work a job that requires of you to merge into the background? 
The Complaining Body is a performance developed by Olwen Davies and Maud Lannen working together with Gallery Assistants at Nottingham Contemporary. The piece emerged from a short series of workshops and combines Manual Labour’s ongoing research with Olwen and Maud’s respective performance practices. The piece is a response to the bodily stresses and strains attached to the GA role, and the inherent tensions within it. Working together, those performing developed a movement language and vocabulary which articulates the strains of work, explores forms of relief and engages with the notion of the unproductive body. 
Performers include Olwen Davies, Maud Lannen, Alice Jackson, Craig Parr and more.
 

 

Event contributions from
 
Danielle Child is a Lecturer in Art History at Manchester School of Art. Her research is focussed on the relationship between work, capitalism and contemporary art. She is particularly interested in ideas of class in relation to artistic practice and making visible the labour - and workers - that are often hidden in the production of art. Her book Working Aesthetics: Labour, Art and Capitalism (Radical Aesthetics Radical Art/Bloomsbury) is forthcoming in December 2018. 
 
Alba Colomo is a curator and initiator of Manual Labours: Building of Body together with Janna Graham, Mercè Santos Mir and Manual Labours. Alba Colomo was Curator of Public Programmes and Research at Nottingham Contemporary until October 2018.
 
Olwen Davies is a performance maker, artist and writer, with an interest in the repossession of cultural images on screen, in comedy and in the uses of recorded and live moments in performance. She is co-founder and joint artistic director of LaPelle’s Factory, currently an associate company of In Good Company, a professional development programme for emerging artists making work in the East Midlands.Olwen is also a sessional lecturer at The University of Worcester and Nottingham College. 
 
Janna Graham is a practice-based researcher who has worked in the field of the curatorial for nearly twenty years, occupying long term positions at institutions such as Whitechapel, Serpentine Galleries, the Art Gallery of Ontario and was Head of Public Programmes at Nottingham Contemporary until January 2017. A key figure in what has been termed ‘the educational turn’ in curating, she has developed exhibitions, residencies, research and writing at the intersection of art and contemporary social urgencies including the struggles around migration, gentrification, education, anti-racism and indigeneity. 
 
Effy Harle is a creative practitioner based in Nottingham who is currently working on a research project Female Art Technicians in the UK, and recently curated Terra Firma, a solo exhibition by Barbara Mihályi, Centrala Gallery, Birmingham, 2017. Together with Manual Labours and Finbar Prior she has designed and produced the Wandering Womb. Effy Harle has worked across curatorial, education, production and technician roles at Nottingham Contemporary.
 
Craig David Parr is a Nottingham based Artist, member of Backlit and co-founder of KÜHLE WAMPE; a collective of artists based across Nottingham and Birmingham, with a shared interest in artist sustainability and developing individual and collaborative artist practices around full time employment. Working across performance, video, sound, drawing and digital media, Craig David Parr uses DIY approaches to explore ideas of class, memory and temporality to create works which blur the line between artwork and the everyday/reality. 
 
Alice Pat Jackson is a performance artist working with ideas of speculative archeology, geology and folk history. She has been a Gallery Invigilator in various locations for just under 10 years and has been working at Nottingham Contemporary since July 2018. Alongside her work in the gallery, she is co-running a pub in the center of Nottingham with artist Ed Sanders.
 
Maud Lannen is a PhD researcher in Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her project explores the intersectionality of the body with philosophy, focusing specifically on the maternal body in all its plurality and ‘queerness’ (both contemporary and historical), in relation to maternal experience and what praxis and ethics emerge in the encounter between two.
 
Katie Lloyd Thomas is Professor of Theory and History of Architecture and Co-director of ARC, the Architecture Research Collaborative at Newcastle University. A founder member of the feminist collective taking place, Katie’s research often explores the intersections between technology and gender.  Recent publications include ‘The Architect as Shopper: Women, electricity, building products and the interwar ‘proprietary turn’ in the UK’ in Architecture and Feminisms: Economies, ecologies, technologies (Routledge, 2017). 
 
Mercè Santos Mir is Assistant Curator of Public Programmes & Research at Nottingham Contemporary and has worked within art exhibitions contexts for over ten years. She also does freelance work in Nottingham collaborating with organisations such as the Institute of Mental Health and with independent artists. Mercè's research interests lie within death, mourning rituals, witchcraft, and the occult. She's a member of the Order of the Good Death and a Death Positive Advocate.
 
Cindy Sissokho is a cultural producer and curator based in Nottingham. She is part of the local collective SHEAfriq, a collective of black women who claim their space in the city by creating a diverse range of events, in collaboration with local groups and institutions. She is also currently working as Touring Coordinator and Assistant Curator at the New Art Exchange. She previously worked at Nottingham Contemporary. 
 
Manual Labours is an ongoing practice-based research project exploring physical and emotional relationships to work, initiated by Jenny Richards and Sophie Hope. This project reconsiders current time-based structures of work (when does work start and end?) and reasserts the significance of the physical (manual) aspect of immaterial, affective and emotional labour. www.manuallabours.co.uk

 

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