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

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].


We use cookies to remember if you logged in or if you’ve interacted with the newsletter subscription form.
Pages that have embedded media such as YouTube videos or Spotify playlists require third party cookies to function.