FACT director Mike Stubbs picks his top 10 highlights from the past 10 years
AS HE geared up for the centre’s official celebrations this weekend, director and chief executive Mike Stubbs talked us through his personal highlights of FACT’s 10 years.
February, 2003 – FACT opens to the public with a major exhibition of work by London-based artist and film-maker Isaac Julien.
“As the first purpose-built cultural building in Liverpool for over 60 years, FACT’s opening was really significant.
“People forget how much has changed since then. To put it in perspective, think back to a time when iTunes wasn’t invented, when nobody had a smart phone and you couldn’t waste time at work on Facebook.”
April, 2005 – A look back at the work of controversial New York designer Vito Acconci includes a breakfast event with the artist.
“This exhibition was a real coup as Vito Acconci is the granddaddy of media arts and probably one of the most significant artists of our generation and here he was in Liverpool, hanging out in the FACT bar.”
February, 2007 – The groundbreaking Black Audio Film Collective visit for a major retrospective exhibition of their work.
“FACT was honoured to host this exhibition from a group of artists who are so well-known and well-respected and it was great to give their work the large and well-rounded show it warranted.”
September, 2007 – Movie director Quentin Tarantino comes to FACT for an exclusive screening of his new film, Death Proof.
“This was a personal highlight for me. Having been a massive fan of Tarantino since Reservoir Dogs burst onto the screens in 1992, it was such a treat to meet the man himself and host a Q&A with some of his biggest fans.”
June, 2008 – FACT hosts the world premiere of Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist’s video projects Gravity Be My Friend and Open My Glade.
“This exhibition was one of the most popular we have staged, in part because it was part of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture programme in 2008.
“This was an amazing year in Liverpool’s history. All eyes were on the city and collectively we pulled off a great year of fantastic events and exhibitions.”
March, 2009 – Cinema giant Lord David Puttnam, producer of Bugsy Malone and The Killing Fields, gives the second Roy Stringer lecture.
“Coinciding with FACT’s UNsustainable year, Lord Puttnam came to FACT to examine how digital technologies can help us develop our education system and help to advance knowledge and learning further establishing the depth of FACT’s collaborations work.”
September, 2009 – The first AND (Abandon Normal Devices) festival of cinema and digital media starts. The festival is held on alternate years in Liverpool and Manchester.
“This is a really important festival that celebrates the best in new cinema and media art.
“It’s proof of the value of collaboration, this time across the North west.”
December, 2010 – FACT teams up with Tate Liverpool for an exhibition of work by the late South Korean artist Nam June Paik.
“People in Liverpool are really good at working together and the Nam June Paik exhibition was a great example of that.
“As a symbolic gesture, we joined the two buildings with an 800m laser created by artist Peter Appleton.”
July, 2011 – Avant-garde art duo Semiconductor open their first UK solo exhibition.
“This was another first for FACT and typifies what we do, bringing new artists and work to the UK for the first time.”
September, 2011 – Kurt Hentschlager’s light and sound Zee exhibition wins critical acclaim.
“This was FACT at its experimental best – asking people to walk into a dark room full of smoke and strobing lights was a bit of a leap of faith, but they were rewarded with an amazing experience, virtually impossible to describe, they wouldn’t get anywhere else.”