The Kipper and The Corpse

    Research output: Other contribution


    ?The Kipper and the Corpse? (TK&C) borrows its title from an episode (March 1979) of the sit-com Fawlty Towers. Whipps?s TK&C research draws attention to both the social changes wrought by Thatcherism and prevailing media attitudes of the time. 1979 was pivotal for UK manufacturing as the then conservative government sought to undermine labour unions. Against this historical backdrop, the project raises questions about how the living memory of the pre-neoliberal world can be accessed and re-engaged with to bring about a collaborative understanding of present-day discourses around the politics and economics of labour. TK&C also offers a novel approach for paticipative creative activity, inverting the more normal artist-led working method. TK&C is a unique community-based art project that included the restoration of a 1275GT Mini made in Longbridge in 1979. Through the process of restoring the car, Whipps worked with several Longbridge ex-employees with car production and engineering expertise, social historians, sociologists, and anthropologists. These participants brought specialist knowledge and vocational skills to bear, positioning the artist/researcher, Whipps, as the novice. This reversal of roles destabilised the standard researcher - participant relationship allowing for the emergence of more participative forms of knowledge production and transfer. This form of collaboration encouraged multiple audiences, from beyond the art world, to engage with the underlying context used by the project. The practical outcomes of TK&C were augmented by information gathered from records at Warwick University, British Motor Museum archives, oral histories, media representations of British Leyland (sitcoms, political cartoons, tabloid newspapers) and photographic documentation. The project has been supported by Longbridge Public Art Project (LPAP) and featured in contemporary art exhibitions, including touring venues such as the British Art Show 8 (2015-2017), the IKON Gallery (2019), and internationally at Fabra i Coats: Contemporary Art Centre of Barcelona (2020).
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 18 Dec 2020


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