31 January 2005

Entitled Critic's Choice, the exhibition has been curated by 4 of this country's leading art critics: Patricia Bickers, Editor of Art Monthly, Sarah Kent, Arts Editor of Time Out magazine; Mark Lawson, Guardian critic and presenter of BBC's Late Show and Radio 4's Front Row; and Tim Marlow, TV and radio broadcaster and Director of the White Cube Gallery.

The critics' brief, to take into consideration FACT's specialist focus on film, video and creative technology, has led to a diverse and engaging exhibition that also reveals the critics' individual areas of interest and expertise. The resulting snapshot of contemporary practice includes some of the most interesting, influential and challenging artists in the world - some never before seen in the UK or outside London.

Mark Lawson's eclectic selection of films includes Tracey Emin's debut feature film Top Spot; a film that draws on her experiences growing up in Margate and the traumatic events that have shaped the lives of a group of teenage girls. The screenings at FACT on 10, 11 and 12 February, will be the first showing of Emin's film outside London, following its one-off screening at the London Film Festival 2004.

Patricia Bickers' chosen artists Fiona Banner, Joonho Jeon and Xu Bing, all use words or inscriptions in their work. As she explains, "The marks carry meaning as words do, but they also constitute the work - as do brushstrokes on a canvas." Sarah Kent's extensive choice is almost a retrospective of video and digital art since the mid 1960s including such influential artists as Abramovic and Ulay, Carolee Schneeman, Bruce Nauman, Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy and Mark Wallinger (her list stretching to over 20 artists).

Last, but not least, Tim Marlow has chosen just one artist Sarah Morris, who journeys through the architecture, geography and character of five cities: New York, Las Vegas, Washington, Miami and Los Angeles; each of her films revealing complex, dynamic and entertaining narratives - being shown at FACT for the first time in the UK as one continuous cycle.

As critics turn curators, taking on the challenge of selecting work for public exhibition and potential criticism, the audience is also asked to question just who decides 'what's hot and what's not'. On the opening morning of the exhibition the critics will answer this and many other burning questions as they face the public at Breakfast with the Critics; a lively discussion and debate chaired by special guest Iwona Blazwick, Director of the Whitechapel Gallery.