*New Commission in association with Studio Voltaire.
Collective practice They Are Here present ROUTINE, an evening of live comedy by Londoners living precariously.
This new performance was initiated by an invitation to community activist groups across London to attend a series of free standâ€“up comedy workshops led by professional comedian Logan Murray. Participating groups include Migrants Organise, Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organisation Brixton, the Independent Workers Union, Xâ€“Talk and the Latin American Womenâ€™s Rights Service.
Amongst the participants are a Bulgarian cleaner turned small business owner, a ratâ€“catcher, a refugee living in an East London anarchist squat, a sexâ€“worker, a freelance writer and a Deliveroo courier. The performances comprise a series of five minute routines presented in the gallery which has temporarily transformed into a comedy club, guest compered by The White Pube.
ROUTINE offers a platform for Londoners living precariously to practice comedy as a vehicle to address the politics and intersection of selfâ€“representation, migration and the gig economy. It is a live element of They Are Hereâ€™s project Laughing Matter (24 Mayâ€“10 June 2018), which also includes an installation of sculpture, soundworks and video.
Laughing Matter is the culmination of In Residence, a new strand of Studio Voltaireâ€™s Participation Programme, which supports artists with a particular focus on public and social practice, connecting the gallery with our locality over an extended period of time.
Supported by Battersea Power Station Foundation, Aziz Foundation and Lambeth Community Events Fund.
Special thanks to Battersea Arts Centre, Somerset House Studios and MayDay Rooms.
Founded in 2006 in London, They Are Here is a collaborative practice steered by artists Helen Walker and Harun Morrison. They Are Hereâ€™s works can be read as a series of context specific games. The entry, invitation or participation can be as significant as the game’s conditions and structure. Through these games they seek to create ephemeral systems and temporary, micro-communities that offer an alternate means of engaging with a situation, history or ideology. Each They Are Here project has its own unique collaborative structure and hierarchies that emerge through the contributions of various invitees. They continuously explore group dynamics, divisions of authorship and the effects of temporary engagements with practitioners of other disciplines. Institutions they have developed or presented work at include: Konsthall C, Stockholm, Sweden (2017); Furtherfield, London, UK (2017); Grand Union, Birmingham, UK (2016); Tate Modern, London, UK (2009, 2010, 2017); South London Gallery, London, UK (2006, 2015); STUK, Leuven, Belgium (2013); National Theatre Studio, London, UK (2012); Tate Britain, London, UK (2010); Camden Arts Centre, London, UK and CCA, Glasgow, UK (both 2009). They are currently the inaugural artists for In Residence, a new strand of the Participation Programme at Studio Voltaire.