Founder, Eddie Berg, to leave FACT
22 September 2004
Today, Eddie Berg, Chief Executive and founder of FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), announced that he is to leave the organisation in March 2005, to take up the role of Artistic Director of the National Centre for the Moving Image in London.
"Having started FACT from scratch and spearheaded its development over 16 years the decision to leave and take up the post of Artistic Director of the proposed National Centre for the Moving Image in London is, without doubt, the most difficult of my professional life," said Berg. "It's practically unimaginable for me to consider that I might exist without being part of it anymore - but this was the one opportunity that I really couldn't pass up."
The origins of FACT began in 1988, when Eddie Berg established a project called Moviola with just a few hundred pounds of funding from the regional arts funding body. The project aimed to commission and present work in galleries and other exhibition spaces by international artists working in film, video and new media and quickly established a national and international reputation from its Liverpool base. The Video Positive biennial, first staged in Liverpool in 1989, was the principal showcase for the organisation's work but by 1992 Moviola had also established national services to artists and galleries, many of which remain at the heart of the organisation today.
Berg's dream however, was a centre dedicated to commissioning, promoting and developing these new art forms and, in 2003, the £11m FACT Centre opened to universal acclaim. The first purpose-built arts project in Liverpool for more than 60 years, FACT is now Britain's leading centre for film, video and new media art and played a crucial part in Liverpool's successful bid to become European Capital of Culture 2008.
"The new £60m centre that I'm charged with developing," says Berg, "has been inspired by the success of FACT as well as the history, tradition and programmes of the National Film Theatre. This is further confirmation of how Liverpool's cultural achievements are shaping, influencing and informing national agendas and I'm confident that FACT - and Liverpool itself - will continue to go from strength to strength."
Following its recent 'glowing' appraisal from the Arts Council, FACT has just welcomed its 400,000th visitor to the building and a raft of exciting new initiatives and projects planned for the coming year are expected to underline FACT's artistic and financial strengths, reaffirming its position at the centre of the cultural life of the city and region.
"Eddie has made FACT one of the leading organisations of its kind in the world and though we are very sorry to see him go, it will continue to flourish as his enduring legacy to the city of Liverpool. His new appointment shows what an important, cutting-edge institution FACT actually is - imitation is the sincerest form of flattery'" commented newly appointed Chairman of FACT, Professor Drummond Bone. "We now begin the search to find a successor who will build on his remarkable achievements - by no means an easy task, but one in which Eddie will play a major role. I am certain Eddie will retain his strong links with the city and with FACT."