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Let The Song Hold Us is a collection of artworks that reach between generations, and across geographic boundaries.
The exhibition presents work by internationally renowned artist Korakrit Arunanondchai (USA/Thailand) with Alex Gvojic alongside new commissions by UK-based Zinzi Minott, Tessa Norton, Larissa Sansour with Søren Lind, Ebun Sodipo, and Rae-Yen Song.
Audiences will be immersed in a new exhibition of artworks that explore the ways song shapes who we are. Let The Song Hold Us brings together film, music, dance, technology, and performance to uncover powerful stories of family, hope and togetherness through a series of unique, artistic worlds that share intimate stories and a sense of belonging.
Works in the exhibition include the UK premiere of Songs for living (2021) by Korakrit Arunanondchai and Alex Gvojic. Visitors will be among the first to experience this new large-scale video installation that responds to a desire to heal the mind and body, and reconnect to life. Described by The i as “A wild and brutal fantasy world, a hyperactive rush, blending the visual language of horror and occult fantasy”, the film weaves together stories of grief, transformation, and spiritual power.
Commissioned for this exhibition, Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind present a new triptych video installation of an Arabic-language opera that brings together Palestinian and European classical music traditions. As If No Misfortune Had Occurred in the Night (2022) is presented as a single aria, sung by Palestinian soprano Nour Darwish, to tell a story of loss, mourning, and inherited trauma.
Alongside its display at FACT, audiences are invited to experience the opera live next month at the University of Liverpool’s Tung Auditorium, part of the brand new Yoko Ono Lennon Centre. The opera will be performed to an audience for the first time at the state-of-the-art concert hall against the backdrop of Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind’s film. The performance will be followed by a Q&A with the artists.
Ebun Sodipo exhibits a new interactive installation created in collaboration with young LGBTQ+ people from Liverpool and across the UK. Following the Gourd (2022) exists both as an online platform and physical artwork that transports audiences into the night sky through a living archive of constellations.
“Trans people of colour don’t often have access to their history, and when they do, it’s dark and full of pain. I want to bring a history that doesn’t hurt, a history that heals.”
Glasgow-based artist Rae-Yen Song presents a new installation of objects and drawings, animated using sound and augmented reality. Surrounded by a meditative choir of ceramic guardians, Song offers a glimpse into a world constructed from inherited memories through a stained glass work that acts as a portal to another world.
Artist and dancer Zinzi Minott premieres the fifth instalment of her ongoing, annual film project Fi Dem. Fi Dem V – A Redemptive Song (2022) explores the histories of the Windrush generation and experiences of Blackness, migration and living in the diaspora. In this new work, moments of dance, celebration and joy are contrasted and glitched with archival footage of the arrival of the Windrush generation, and discussion around the uncertain future of the Merseyside Caribbean Community Centre in L8.
The exhibition also debuts a new commission by artist Tessa Norton who invites audiences to pass through a vintage railway station waiting room in Dark Circles (2022). Norton was awarded the Jerwood Arts x FACT Fellowship in 2020 and has developed a new multimedia installation exploring the ambiguity of Anglo-Indian identity. A poem by Norton is at the heart of the soundtrack, mixed together with the sounds of soul, classic rock and field recordings of machinery and trains; the mechanical beat to which the empire ran.
Let the Song Hold Us is part of Radical Ancestry, FACT’s current programme which looks at how our sense of belonging is shaped by the histories, geographies, biology and culture we inherit. Through a series of exhibitions, projects, artist residencies and events, the programme aims to question how technology can help us to explore a new way of thinking and experimenting with who we are.
Let the Song Hold Us will be on display at FACT until 19 June 2022.
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