Wake Work

Country: UK

Related artists:

Duration & details: English / 16 min / Transferred from 16mm film
Price & hire time: ( Free )

On the eve of LUX leaving the building it has occupied for the last 14 years; Shacklewell Studios on Shacklewell Lane in Dalston we present Charlotte Ginsborg and Rose Kowalski’s Wake Work, an elegiac portrait of the building filmed in the early 2000s (before LUX moved in). As well as a portrait of how the environment shapes our attitude to work, the film captures a Hackney building, a former shirt factory, at a particular moment in time when its tenants were shifting from manufacture and importing to design, as the area changed and the rents increased…

Wake Work is a 16mm film that explores what it means to work. Its subject matter is one building, Shacklewell Studios, a converted warehouse, and the people employed there. As a cinematic portrait the film cuts across genres of documentary, art and drama to provide an intimate social document of the changing working patterns taking place in east London at the start of the twenty-first century. It addresses work as a form of theatre and depicts how the rhythm of human activity is affected by the physicality of architecture. The sound track is composed of 12 characters’ testimonies edited together to create an imaginary discussion that reflects on role-play, identity, and power in the workplace. Through depicting cigarette breaks, generic meetings and office spaces the film draws attention to how characters communicate without words, and the potency contained within their mundane actions and momentary glances. The ‘naturalness’ of the voices, combined with the overtly staged but restrained dramatisation of people moving through their environment present the viewer with an ambiguity as to exactly what they are watching. What results is an epic account of the everyday.


Charlotte Ginsborg is a London based filmmaker. She graduated with an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College in 2002. Her films interweave documentary, fictional, and performative elements to explore people’s psychological relationship to their jobs and working architectural environments. Her 16mm films and videos have been screened and exhibited nationally and internationally including: the Whitechapel Gallery, the Serpentine Gallery, ICA, and Camden Arts Centre, London, the Walker Institute, Minneapolis, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Her film, ‘Over The Bones’ was nominated for the Tiger Shorts Competition at the Rotterdam Film Festival. She received a Film London FLAMIN Production Award in 2011 to produce ‘Melior Street’ which premiered at the Belfast Film Festival in 2012. Her most recent film ‘Opponent’ was broadcast on Channel4 as part of their Random Acts Series. She also works as a freelance director making documentary films

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