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Interruptions: Barry Sykes

An Introduction to Laughter Yoga


An Introduction to Laughter Yoga is Barry Sykes’ attempt to recreate from memory a lesson with the same name he attended a decade ago. He will lead an audience of participants through the exercises he thinks he witnessed that day, designed to take you from gentle breathing, through basic movements to arms aloft hysterical elation. The session also incorporates a spoken history of Laughter Yoga and contemporary examples of manufactured pleasure and emotional labour. Each time he redelivers the class it has adapted to a specific location, be it council chambers, naturist club, Downs syndrome play group, dementia centre or art gallery. This time conducted on Zoom to reflect the times we are living through, it becomes a replica lesson, of fake laughter, held in a virtual meeting.

Please register on Eventbrite. You will receive a Zoom invite on the morning of the event; please ensure to check your junk folder if it does not appear in your Inbox.

About the Artist

Barry Sykes’ performances and objects take existing formats, like lessons, feedback forms, photo shoots, sporting goods or communal saunas, and remodels them to examine the uncertainties of human interaction and edges of acceptable behaviour. Often hand-made and frugally put together he uses absurdity and humour to unsettle and engage. Recent events have been presented at The Museum of London; Focal Point Gallery, Southend, UK; The University of Bath, UK and as part of Art Night 2019.

Part of the Interruptions programme of free events provided by the Holden Gallery.

Barry Sykes, ‘An Introduction to Laughter Yoga’. Art Night 2019. Photo by Tom Carter.