Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


IAS Laughter: Is it a laughing matter? Curating the funny side

28 November 2018, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm


We are delighted to welcome Margot Heller (South London Gallery) and Sarah McCrory (Goldsmiths CCA) in conversation with Beatrix Gassman De Sousa (The Agency Gallery) , Gary Stevens (Slade, UCL) and Marko Ilic (SSEES, UCL and Courtauld). Chaired by Briony Fer (History of Art, UCL)

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Institute of Advanced Studies


IAS Common Ground
Ground floor, South Wing, UCL
United Kingdom

The opening of two new art spaces in south London this year might seem uncanny in these turbulent times. Two months ago, South London Gallery unveiled its new extension in an old fire station in Camberwell. Only two weeks earlier, Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art opened up in a section of the old Laurie Grove public baths in New Cross.

The new galleries in South London opened with two exhibitions devoted to humour and criticism: Goldsmiths CCA presented the work of Mika Rottenberg, an artist who exaggerates the absurdity of our production systems. And SLG presented a curated group exhibition: Knock Knock: Humour in Contemporary Art – a title which refers to traditional ‘knock knock’ jokes to explore the idea of the comical from different angles: as the expression of the absurd, as a tool for feminist resistance, or just as a mere pastime, for example.

The IAS has invited the directors of these galleries, Margot Heller and Sarah McCrory, in conversation with Beatrix Gassmann De Sousa (director of The Agency Gallery), artist Gary Stevens (Slade, UCL) and art historian Marko Ilic (SSEES, UCL and Courtauld) to think of the role of laughter and humour in their exhibitions and beyond. 


Chaired by Briony Fer (History of Art, UCL) 

All welcome. Please note that there may be photography and/or audio recording at some events and that admission is on a first come first served basis. Please follow this FAQ link for more information.

Pictured: Bowls Balls Souls Holes (2014) by Mika Rottenberg. 
Photo: Diego Grisaleñas

Pictured: If There were Anywhere but Desert, Friday (2002) by Ugo Rondinone
Photo: Andy Stagg