17 November 2010

Yesterday, the CEO of FACT, Mike Stubbs, spent most of the day in bed.

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He wasn’t just being lazy, though, any John Lennon and Yoko Ono fans may remember when they stayed in bed for two weeks in peaceful protest against the Vietnam war.

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Our friends at the Bluecoat are currently staging their very own Bed In to commemorate the birthday and assassination of John Lennon. Mike took part in it yesterday, and we went down to ask him his thoughts on staying in bed.

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How’s it going so far Mike?

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Brilliantly! I’ve talked to so many interesting people, it’s comfortable, someone brought me this book and this teddy bear – and I’ve eaten really well today

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Why are you taking part in the Bed In?

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To support my friends at the Bluecoat. I’ve been very good friends with Bryan Biggs (Bluecoat’s Artistic Director) for over 20 years now. I did my very first exhibition right here in this exact space in 1989 when I very first came to Liverpool. It was called Desert Island Dread and was part of the Video Positive festival, which was the pre-cursor to FACT… so it’s an important link to me.

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Desert Island Dread, Mike Stubbs, Installation at the Bluecoat, 1989

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What’s worth getting out of bed for?

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We don’t need to get out of bed anymore. I’ve been more productive today, lying in this bed for hours, than I would usually. I woke up at 5am in my own bed and sent emails using my laptop and WiFi, which I’ve continued to do here. I’ve sent emails, made phonecalls, done some reading, eaten well and probably got more done in a day than usual. However, I think if I continued this, I’d get very fat very quickly!

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What would be the one thing to get you out of bed?

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Probably the anxiety of being in bed for so long my limbs would all wither away, or I’d get so fat I couldn’t move! That and all of life’s normalcies like family and food.

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What are you protesting about today?

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Probably the procrastination of people. The fact that we have all of these cuts and economic policies coming into play, and people seem to have forgotten how to protest. The art of demonstration has been lost on society, so maybe going back to peaceful protest could be a new way of engaging.

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Would you do this at FACT?

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Yes! The Bluecoat had Yoko Ono’s blessing to do this so if they didn’t mind either… except maybe at FACT we’d do it differently. Taking it a little further. A toilet in our Atrium, perhaps!

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What’s the weirdest thing somebody has said to you today?

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 [A man comes over to talk to us in depth about bananas]

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 “I’m the Bananaman” as he’s sat practically on my lap. A prime example of the fantastic variety of people I’ve met today. Let’s get a photo with him!

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FACT's Lucy Blakeley, Mike Stubbs... and the Bananaman