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FACT summer exhibition goes beneath the surface and behind the scenes

Two immersive solo exhibitions which explore gate-kept spaces and brotherhood are on show at FACT this summer.

The Wood Street arts venue is staging Sara Sadik’s Xenon Palace Championship and RIP Germain’s multi-layered After God, Dudas Comes Next! in its ground floor galleries until October 13.

Marseilles-based Sadik creates video and performance work which is inspired by video games, anime, science fiction and French rap, and often focuses on unique sub-cultures developed by diasporas.

In Xenon Palace Championships, which is physically set within a ‘magical hookah lounge’, the 30-year-old has created a fictional world where a group of men gather for a gaming tournament, all playing for the keys to the titular palace – a place created to escape reality.

Visitors can take part in the gameplay as the installation’s narrative, which centres on a lone-wolf protagonist, unfolds. As the tension heightens the central character, Emile-Samory, reflects on brotherhood and belonging, highlighting the complex relationship between alienation, ambition and securing a legacy.

Meanwhile RIP Germain’s After God, Dudas Comes Next! is a large-scale installation which fills the whole of FACT’s gallery one and was developed from the artist's first major UK solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 2023.

Above: A gallery of images from RIP Germain's After God, Dudas Comes Next! Top: Sara Sadik's Xenon Palace Championship.

It explores the concept of ‘false fronts’: spaces that look like one thing, but function as something else, or otherwise close off some of their operations from general access.

Visitors can go beyond a grimy street façade – lit by a trio of streetlamps - to explore the interiors of the work, finding hidden rooms and trying to locate clues within the installation which will unlock them.

FACT head of planning Maitreyi Maheshwari said: “Summer shows are often the highlight of our year at FACT as we bring together works that are vibrant and immersive for audiences on holidays, but which also examine big ideas through their playfulness.

“Both RIP Germain and Sara Sadik's installations ask us to look beyond the surface of people and places, as they examine the nuances of multi-layered social worlds: be they spaces that present different fronts to different people, or subcultures that emerge from collective experiences.

“The works invite us to question how our preconceptions of places and objects contribute to the judgements we make of the people who use them. In their own ways, each artist's work brings an awareness of how social codes can become barriers and forms of cultural alienation.”

The exhibition runs at FACT until October 13 and is free.


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