Manon de Boer | An Experiment in Leisure




Opening: Wednesday 15 June, 6.30 – 8.30pm

16 June – 24 July,  2016
Wednesday to Sunday, 12.00 – 6.00pm


For her solo exhibition at Cubitt Gallery, Manon de Boer presented An Experiment in Leisure, a compelling new 16mm film work set to explore the link between free time and creativity, between leisure and the kind of imaginative contemplation it facilitates.

De Boer has drawn on introspective texts from Marion Milner (1900-1998), a British psychoanalyst who analysed the dynamics of concentration, daydreaming, and open-ended time. With these writings as a starting point, the film featured the sound of recorded interviews with a number of artists. Each is asked to reflect on their own creative processes using passages from Milner as reflective points of departure.

An Experiment in Leisure interspersed spoken recollections from actress Sara De Roo; dancer and artist Sirah Foighel Brutmann; musician Michael Schmid; former dancer, now writer and researcher Christophe Wavelet; and dancer and choreographer Latifa Laâbissi, with images of their workspaces, and the sounds, silences and natural rhythms of the Norwegian sea.

Filmed with de Boer’s singular sensitivity to time, space, memory and sensation, aspects of the work resonate with Milner’s own conception of leisure. Specifically, the idea that leisure is not conceived as the opposite to work, but rather as a time where perceiving and thinking openly, without an immediate given or objective, is possible.

An Experiment in Leisure was presented alongside Laurien, March 1996 – Laurien, September 2001 – Laurien, October 2007 – Laurien, July 2015 (1996 – 2015) and
 Maud Capturing the Light ‘On a Clear Day’ (2015).


Supported by the Government of Flanders and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in London.








An interview with Manon de Boer by Cubitt Curatorial Fellow Morgan Quaintance was broadcast on 24 July on Resonance 104.4FM as part of the programme Studio Visit. A podcast is available for listening below:











An Experiment in Leisure, gallery installation views. Photography by Mark Blower.



Cubitt Gallery is part of an artist-led organisation based in Islington, London. We promote innovative curatorial practice with an 18-month Bursary, supporting curators at the beginning of their careers.

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