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Performing Matter Tower Hamlets, London, UK
"A rolling, six-day programme of demonstrations which brings unusual or outmoded skills and obsessions into public view on busy Cambridge Heath Road, London. Ordinarily these people pursue their craft and techniques in contexts that make sense of them: the theatrical performer on a stage, the object maker in a commercial workshop, the hobbyist at their leisure. But here, the removal of the task in hand from the situation that renders it useful or relevant refocuses the act of making, the essence of labour itself, and the skill and expertise involved. A live feed camera projects the close-up movements of accomplished hands and bodies that have spent years finessing their particular specialisms; but unlike television infotainment programmes, these demonstrations lack spoken explanation, and this silence leaves us plenty of space in which to ponder what is happening and why. Far from nostalgic, though, this array of talents and knowledges just goes to show how many supposedly useless, unprofitable or anachronous activities are hidden within the complexity of a functional and functioning contemporary society.” Sally O’ Reilly

John Reardon