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LADA Screens – Forced Entertainment

Uncertain Fragments (2016)
Hugo Glendinning & Tim Etchells
Monday 10 October


For this LADA Screens launch event we are showing Uncertain Fragments, a video essay reflecting on the work and process of the world-renowned UK performance ensemble Forced Entertainment combining interview fragments with artistic director Tim Etchells, performance excerpts, backstage and rehearsal room material from diverse projects, focused around an excerpt from the group’s 2001 performance First Night.

The screening will be complemented by a conversation between Tim Etchells, the film maker and photographer Hugo Glendinning and the artists Hester Chillingworth and Karen Christopher on the impact and influence of Forced Entertainment and ideas of process, duration, documentation raised by the film.

Combining material from Glendinning’s FE 84-14 series that was created to mark the 30th Birthday of the company, as well as weaving in other documentary and interview materials, Uncertain Fragments is a kind of assembled-essay whose scenes were gathered in different venues and locations around the world as part of creation processes and performance presentations by the group. Touching on the nature of performance, the making process, the importance of chance and the political context for the work, Etchells’ thinks through a set of questions and observations which lead right to the heart of the Forced Entertainment’s work.


Hugo Glendinning is an internationally renowned photographer whose work spans collaborations with visual artists on photographic and video works, theatre, dance and performance documentation, and portraits of prominent figures.

Available for purchase from Unbound, for LADA’s fifth 15th Anniversary limited edition series, Hugo Glendinning produced Tea Break/Illusion, an iconic image created with Glendinning's long term collaborators Forced Entertainment for a one off performance of First Night in Lisbon, November 2014.

Tim Etchells Tim Etchells is an artist and writer based in the UK whose practice shifts between performance, visual art and fiction. He has worked in a wide variety of contexts, notably as the leader of the world-renowned Sheffield-based performance group Forced Entertainment. Recent publications include Vacuum Days (Storythings, 2012) and While You Are With Us Here Tonight (LADA, 2013). Etchells’ work has been shown recently at Cubitt, Hayward Gallery and Bloomberg SPACE in London, at Turner Contemporary and Compton Verney in the UK, at Witte de With, Rotterdam, Netherlands Media Art Institute (Amsterdam) and MUHKA (Antwerp). Currently Professor of Performance & Writing at Lancaster University, he was a Tate / LADA 'Legacy: Thinker In Residence' Award winner in 2008, Artist of the City of Lisbon in 2014 and he was awarded the prestigious Spalding Gray Award in February 2016. 

Forced Entertainment is an ensemble of six artists based in Sheffield UK, whose 32 year collaboration has long been recognised for its unique and groundbreaking contribution to the field of contemporary performance practice. In September the group were awarded one of the worlds most prestigious theatre awards, the International Ibsen Award, 2016, which further marks the significance, influence and international reach of their work. 

Forced Entertainment – Tim Etchells (artistic director), Robin Arthur, Cathy Naden Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall and Terry O’Connor – share a unique history and an equal involvement in the group’s creative process, collaborating on works that engage the audiences in compelling, inventive and provocative new theatre devised to describe contemporary experience. Creating more than 60 projects since its inception, the ensemble’s output has ranged from chaotic low-fi theatrical spectacle to gallery installation, from intimate focused small-scale performances to durational works with large casts lasting six, twelve and twenty-four hours.

About LADA Screens

LADA Screens is a series of free, online screenings of seminal performance documentation, works to camera, short films/video and archival footage. It is part of Live Online, LADA’s dedicated space where you can watch short videos and films drawn from LADA’s Study Room or generated through our programmes and initiatives.

Each screening will be available to view for a limited time only, and will be launched with a live event at the White Building in Hackney Wick, London. Online art magazine, thisistomorrow will also feature the films on their website for the duration of the screenings.

LADA Screens is curated by the Live Art Development Agency (LADA). LADA is a 'Centre for Live Art': a knowledge centre, a production centre for programmes and publications, a research centre setting artists and ideas in motion, and an online centre for digital experimentation, representation and dissemination.

Banner image credit:

Hugo Glendinning & Tim Etchells, Uncertain Fragments. Image by Hugo Glendinning

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