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- REVIEW: My Garden, My Sanctuary at FACT | FEM ZINE
A Visit to Liverpool to see My Garden, My Sanctuary at FACT WE'VE SENT WRITERS to FACT in LIVERPOOL FOR A FEW YEARS NOW , and this was my first time going. I wanted to see the show that just opened at the end of July - an exhibition across two spaces that two artists are cohabiting – Sian Fan and Yaloo. I was attracted by the promise of video game worlds, and immersion. There's still a bit of snobbishness about immersive installations that I don't believe in – there's nothing wrong with a bit of spectacle and flash, it only makes art more accessible. One of my favourite exhibitions ever was one in the Vienna Seccession, where a huge room was covered in fluffy carpet and massive pastel plushies, a film showing Frankenstein eating a hamburger playing out in front of cushions strewn across the floor, turning adults to indulgent children. I generally like more of a mission statement than this mind, which is certainly what FACT gave me. If you haven't been, FACT is a public building housing cinemas and multiple gallery spaces. It reminds me of London arts venues that sometimes suffer from neglect by fine art audiences because of their multi-use. Fan's first installation is in the foyer, just opposite the reception desk. It is a video game avatar that moves when you move – replete with glitch. We didn’t notice you could interact with it at first – the signage at FACT is, like the space, accessible and warm – this is where we read that she’d move when we did. Without wanting to state the obvious, I want to stress how much I appreciate the openness of the galleries at FACT – free, accessible, and you can see dense and complex art at a very high production value before seeing a film – I love spaces like that. We played with the avatar for a while – it was fun, but I’m sure her impassive face and glitching discomfort was intentional – it left me feeling a bit cold, like I had taken something, imposed myself too much. On first look, the subject matter of My Garden, My Sanctuary could sound a bit hypey – the central motifs are sheet masks (Yaloo) and video games (Sian Fan) – but it doesn’t feel like a reliance on globally popular East-Asian images so much as a (very successful) attempt to make them strange. The main room does this best – the huge sheet mask that greets you hangs over a watery world from Yaloo, with mutated fish, and subtitles that read like directions through the pond you peer down into. The signage tells you this is an imagined family (future) history – it feels oddly familiar in this way, the infrastructure is rusted, warm metals; it looks ‘lived in’, by some life form at least. Fan’s large scale video game-like installation in the main room makes you player rather than avatar – you scroll through a space-water-future world encountering similarly vague directives written on the screen: ‘Glitch. Caught in a momentary syncope’. I’ve watched streams of many (and played a few) open-world and roleplaying games, and this non-linear fragmented text was at once frustrating and a little exciting for someone who is used to the predictable patterns of video game writing. The abstracted text and cold environment created that particular feeling I had in the first installation. Fan is very good at making you feel involved, but reflective, a bit voyeuristic, quietened. My Garden, My Sanctuary was colder, harder and stranger than that exhibition in Vienna – but it gave me that same good feeling that immersive installations can give you. It felt generous but still challenging. I hope lots of people see it. My Garden, My Sanctuary is on until the 9th October 2022 FACT website Text by Georgia Mitchell
- FEM PRESS | FEM ZINE
FEM PRESS is FEM’S PUBLISHER, which works to project IMPORTANT ARTISTIC VOICES via BEAUTIFUL, TACTILE PRINTED DOCUMENTS Hover over the images to learn more about each of our publications to date. FEM's Political Pamphlet series Our new yearly release, a bundle of three political pamphlets on three special topics. Funded by our shop profits from 2020. Printed in SE London by PageMasters. Festival of Ideas zine A zine commissioned by the GLA and Mayor of London in response to the Festival of Ideas 2021, exploring how we foster stronger communities. Click for a free digital version, audio version, and information on how to own one/read one at your local library or community space. RAISE Zine We commissioned 11 transgender creatives to write about their experiences of fundraising for essential services, focussing on the Individual Giving campaigns that so many trans people in the UK depend upon. The result is 11 meditations on making the personal public, being left behind by the 'welfare state', and the importance of queer community. RAISE Zine was produced using funding from the Greater London Authority's 'Culture Seeds'. It is our first risograph-printed zine, printed by the experts at Pagemasters. In the style of 'THEY. HE. SHE. PERIOD', it places creative and op-ed style writing against black-and-white photography. 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE is the first paperback published by FEM Press in 2018. The London poetry collective of the same name explores their experience as women of the South Asian diaspora in the book, in four breathtaking chapters: 'Silk', 'Saffron', 'Smoke' and 'Temples'. 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE have since performed a sell-out week at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and appeared on Women's Hour and in Vogue magazine. if i was your boyfriend if i was your boyfriend is a collection of love poetry by five queer artists who explore masculinity in their identities/work. The Bieber title and 90s pop mag-derived aesthetic plays towards the softer expressions of masculinity that is finding a new lease of life in the softboi trope. The poetry is cringy, melty, gorgeous. A zine by Caitlin King, featuring Rene Matic, Kai Isaiah-Jamal, Otamere Guobadia, and Harve, designed by Lu Williams and edited by Georgia Mitchell. A zine exploring the experience of periods from the perspective of trans and non-binary people who menstruate. With poems, essays, thoughts and portraits printed in black and white in A5 staple bound. Featuring Olly Adebayo, Ashton Attzs, Tanaka Fuego, Sal Morton, Bhavini Patadia, and Silver. With portraits by Mia Maxwell. Curated by Mia Maxwell. Original zine made to exhibit at Protein Studios' week long exhibition 'Ovar It' in 2018 . Buy fem press publications here International shipping All enquiries: email@example.com
- FEMZINE | London
ZINE SHOP Printed gems from our publisher Subscribe to our newsletter Yes! Sign me up for updates including free content, new zines, and artist opportunities Submit FEM STARTED as an ANNUAL SUBMISSION-BASED ZINE IN 2017, WELCOMING WORK from UNDERREPRESENTED and largely unpublished ARTISTS. WE PUBLISHED OUR FIRST BOOK by the poetry collective 4 brown girls who write IN 2018, and STARTED HOSTING EVENTS THE SAME YEAR, FEATURING PERFORMERS of ALL DISCIPLINES. SINCE THEN, WE HAVE FOCUSSED on SPECIAL-TOPIC ZINES, STILL CHAMPIONING NEW VOICES but also WORKING WITH ESTABLISHED QUEER CREATIVES, and SUPPORTING THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN IN OUR NETWORK from THE START. WE SELL OUR ZINES ONLINE, in INDIE BOOKSHOPS and at ZINE FAIRS: ANY and ALL PROFITS GO INTO MAKING MORE WORK.