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Art on the Underground: Who is Community? Bob and Roberta Smith and Tim Newton

Date uploaded: April 30, 2012

Art on the Underground invites you to celebrate the launch of
Who is Community?
Bob and Roberta Smith and Tim Newton
Tuesday 15th May 2012
Stratford East Picture House

Alongside the film, Who is Community? includes a number of large artworks on display in Stratford Underground station, which can be visited on the way to the event. These artworks, originally painted by Bob and Roberta Smith, include characters from the film and explore ideas brought to light in the project. Painted cut-out figures of Hannah Arendt and Pierre de Coubertin are also on display at various cultural venues around Stratford, including Stratford Circus, UEL, Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Nunnery.

Event starts at 7pm. Screenings followed by artists in conversation.
(Cash bar open in advance)
Venue: Stratford East Picture House, Salway Road, London, E15 1BX

Places for the talk are limited, please RSVP.

[email protected]
020 7027 8694

Who is Community? is a new commission by artist Bob and Roberta Smith and Director Tim Newton, as part of the Central line series. Smith and Newton have made a new film that tells the story of an extraordinary fictional meeting between the father of the modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, and the German theorist, Hannah Arendt. In the film, Arendt and Coubertin meet on the Central line and fall in love. The film is told from the perspective of the community of Stratford and draws upon the cinematic style of silent comedies.

Who is Community? explores themes of public space, social interaction and well-being, as well as the democratic values that Coubertin hoped to advance through sport, and the revival of the ancient Olympic games. Arendt is known for her ideas on freedom as something that is constructed in the community, when its members bring their uniqueness to a shared space. In bringing the characters together, Smith and Newton suggest a synergy between the ideas of Coubertin and Arendt.

From October 2012, the film is shown on the Stratford Cinema Kiosk, a specially designed structure that is modelled after an original ticket kiosk that was installed at Hainault station in 1948. These kiosks, known as passimeters, were introduced to the Underground in the early 1920s.

*Leytonstone is a film made by Tim Newton and Bob and Roberta Smith about the community of Leytonstone. Trimming Pablo is a fictionalised account of Picasso's visit to the 1950 Sheffield Peace Congress. The film is directed by Tim Newton and features a cameo from Bob and Roberta Smith.

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