Rest & its discontents (Exhibition, The Mile End Art Pavilion, London, 30 Sept – 30 Oct 2016)

Antonia Barnett-McIntosh /Ed Prosser, 2016

Antonia Barnett-McIntosh /Ed Prosser, 2016

Rest & its discontents is a major new exhibition exploring rest and noise, tumult and work, through site-specific installations, artists’ moving image, performance, drawing, poetry, data, sound and music. The show draws on Hubbub, a two-year residency undertaken by fifty international artists, writers, social scientists, broadcasters, humanities researchers, scientists and mental health experts in The Hub at Wellcome Collection in London, and led by Durham University. Their investigations have revolved around the dynamics of rest, stress, exhaustion, cities, sound, noise, work and mind wandering.

Highlights of Rest & its discontents include a radio of rest by Nina Garthwaite of In The Dark radio, which weaves together voices, sounds and music from within and beyond the show, and broadcast as a series of live programmes, podcasts and webstreams; Patrick Coyle’s The Floating Thirty-Nine comprising thirty-nine solar-powered objects floating on the large expanse of water immediately outside the gallery alluding to the number of categories of labour prohibited on the Sabbath; Lynne Friedli’s investigations into anti-work struggles and politics debated live with local campaign groups in the gallery; Guerilla Science’s listening experiment taking exhibition visitors to a nearby twenty-storey building to explore the psychogeography of rest in the capital’s rapidly changing built environment; James Wilkes’ fiction inspired by the Peckham Experiment’s observations on environmental human health and activity extending across the gallery’s huge windows; Antonia Barnett-McIntosh’s film Breath exploring the concept of breath as musical rest and breathlessness as a form of exhaustion in a flute performance; Josh Berson and LUSTLab’s installation relaying location-specific personal statements of well-being in response to visitors’ movements; Ayesha Nathoo’s Teaching us to relax: A twentieth-century history of therapeutic relaxation surveying the messages, instructions and depictions of alternative relaxations as proposed by psychology, alternative health, physiotherapy, physical education and antenatal self-help books; and Christian Nold’s Welcome to Heathrow Airport inviting the public to help develop new ways of documenting the impact of Heathrow Airport on the quality of London life.

Rest & its discontents is accompanied by an extensive programme of events including an exploration of the ramifications of the 1975 Iceland women’s strike, a panel discussion about the anxiety generated by mass media and rolling news, a cabaret of anti-work songs, and new music and poetry performances.

As Rest & its discontents opens, the results of the world’s largest ever survey into subjective experiences of rest is announced on BBC Radio 4’s All In The Mind by broadcaster, writer and associate director of Hubbub Claudia Hammond.

Rest & its discontents is curated by Robert Devcic, founder of GV Art London, for Hubbub, a Durham University residency at The Hub at Wellcome Collection, funded by the Wellcome Trust.

For images, interviews and further information please email Janette Scott Arts PR, +44(0)7966 486156.


Rest & its discontents, 30 September – 30 October. The Mile End Art Pavilion, Clinton Road, London E3 4QY. Opening hours 12:00-18:00, Tuesday – Sunday. Closed Mondays. Admission free. www.hubbubgroup.org

Mile End Art Pavilion is a 4-minute walk from Mile End Underground Station. Buses 25, 277, D6 and D7 stop close to the Station.

Hubbub is an international collective of social scientists, artists, humanities researchers, scientists, broadcasters, public engagement professionals and mental health experts. The team, led by Durham University, is exploring the dynamics of rest, noise, tumult, activity and work, as they operate in mental health, neuroscience, the arts and the everyday. Hubbub is the inaugural recipient of The Hub Award, in residence at The Hub at Wellcome Collection, a new dedicated space and resource for interdisciplinary projects exploring medicine, health and wellbeing. www.hubbubgroup.org

Wellcome Collection is the free visitor destination for the incurably curious. Located at 183 Euston Road, London, it explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. The venue offers visitors contemporary and historic exhibitions and collections, lively public events, the world-renowned Wellcome Library, a café, shop, restaurant and conference facilities as well as publications, tours, international and digital projects. Wellcome Collection is part of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. The Wellcome Trust supports bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine.

Durham University is a world top 100 university with a global reputation and performance in research and education and is a member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive UK universities. Research at Durham shapes local, national and international agendas, and directly informs the teaching of our students. Durham is ranked in the world’s top 100 universities for reputation (Times Higher Education World Reputation Review rankings 2015), and fifth in the UK in the 2016 Complete University Guide.

wellcome-trust-148x80Hubbub Logo - wideDU_2 col_lrg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *