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FACT REOPENS

FACT opened its first art exhibition today since before lockdown restrictions began earlier this year.


And Say the Animal Responded? Brings together the work of six international artists to ask what would animals say if we listened to them, using film and sound-centred installations to capture the animal voice.

The exhibition, curated by FACT’s new CEO Nicola Triscott, was originally set to open in March but was delayed because of COVID-19. However, Triscott says the pandemic has added a “poignancy” to the works on display.

 

“When we were going to open it in March, it was just after the Australian fires and it was very motivated by the fact that we constantly put humans above animals in the hierarchy,” she said.

 

“The animal’s voice in the bushfire was a very sad and tragic thing. As we’ve gone into the pandemic, there’s another layer of meaning that comes into it, which is the pandemic was sparked by us interfering in the natural environment and interfering with the non-human animal’s right to be in the world — and that tends to be the history of pandemics.

 

“How we think about animals usually comes from a human perspective. This show tries to think about the animal's voice in the wild, the animal right to be in the wild, it does that through presenting animals in real-life scenarios. 

“I think in lockdown, we’ve all heard the animal voice a lot clearer as the dawn chorus has got louder in the city. We’ve seen more animals so that adds another poignancy to the exhibition that makes it particularly appealing to people at the moment.”

 

A film installation from Liverpool-based artist Demelza Kooij captures the habits of a wolf pack,  giving visitors a unique insight into the wilderness.

 

Mexican musician and artist Ariel Guzik presents an installation which showcases work from his long-term research project to communicate musically with whales and dolphins in the wild.

 

Other works in the exhibition include a reactive sound installation in which a colony of leafcutter ants become DJs, while the recently extinct northern white rhino is resurrected through digital artificial intelligence.

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg - The Substitute Image by Rob Battersby

Triscott adds she is “very happy” for the exhibition to begin, as it also happens to be her first time curating a show at FACT. She says our relationship with the natural environment is an “interesting context” to think about.

 

And Say the Animal Responded? is a show that asks about listening to the animal and what we would hear if we listened to the non-human animal,” said Triscott.

 

“How we think about animals usually comes from a human perspective. This show tries to think about the animal’s voice in the wild, the animal right to be in the wild, it does that through presenting animals in real-life scenarios. 

 

“The sounds that you hear are generally as close as the sound volume you’d hear in the wild.”

 

The programme is free and takes place on two floors of FACT’s award-winning building, running on Wednesday to Sunday until December 13. Galleries are closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Ariel Guzik -The Nereida Capsule Image by Rob Battersby