Photo by Manuel Vason
Photo by Manuel Vason

Aaron Williamson – Demonstrating the World

In Demonstrating the World, Aaron Williamson explores the ‘alien’ or ‘other’ through an absurdly elaborate, live reinterpretation of YouTube ‘How-To’ videos. Drawing from this contemporary archive of ‘folk performance’, Williamson enacts everyday tasks such as opening a cupboard, removing a jacket, or sitting on a chair, with detailed step-by-step instructions. He illustrates the required posture, hand-shapes and describes the shifting of muscular tension – both reinforcing and destabilising their apparent familiarity.

Demonstrating the World is presented on a purpose-built mobile performance platform that houses a radically displaced domestic interior, designed in collaboration with architect Ida Martin. Separated from their expected practical function, this unique series of household objects provides an opportunity to demonstrate the sculptural qualities of ergonomic design.

A durational public intervention for city centres and unusual places, Demonstrating the World questions the intuitive negotiation of even the most habitual and self-evident activity.

Aaron Williamson‘s interdisciplinary engagement with performance, objects, place and space is inspired by his experience of becoming deaf and by a politicised, yet humorous sensibility towards disability. During the last twenty years he has created over 300 performances, interventions, videos, installations and publications for museums and festivals around the world, as well as mountains, rivers, volcanic craters, small islands, rooftops and a single-car lock-up garage in Hackney.

This project was developed through an R&D award in the first round of Unlimited in 2014.

Performance work from a mobile stage for outdoors, also suitable for gallery venues. Available to tour.


16-17 September 2016
10 September 2016

Production details

Edd Hobbs
Set designer
Ida Martin


Aaron Williamson