Under Cinema

  • 26 October 2017 - 18 February 2018


The world premiere of Under Cinema from filmmaker, artist and performer Wu Tsang features the acclaimed American singer-songwriter Kelela. Complementing the work is the UK premiere of We hold where study (2017): a choreographic approach to image-making and mourning, enacting a series of duets both within and between images. Together, these works form an investigation into issues of voice and representation through innovative filmmaking, questioning the relationship between reality and images, as well as the viewer’s gaze.



The world premiere of a new commission film, Under Cinema, features the acclaimed American singer-songwriter Kelela, and was conceived as a site-specific installation for Gallery 2, located under our cinema screens. The exhibition investigates issues of voice and representation through innovative filmmaking methodologies, questioning the reliability of the fixed image, as well as the viewer’s gaze.


Alongside the new commission will be the UK premiere of We hold where study (2017), a two-channel projected film which takes a choreographic approach to image-making and mourning. The film enacts a series of duets, both within and between images.


Moving fluidly between documentary, activism, and fiction, Tsang’s intimate approach and continuous re-interpretation of the roles of history, language, music, and performance creates an immersive other-worldly context for her characters. Her filmmaking style tends towards the magical realist, and focuses on the increasing importance of imagination in both storytelling and the day-to-day. For Tsang, the relationship between the cinematic and the social is inherently problematic, and her filmmaking becomes a testing ground for collaboration and repeated, perhaps ritualistic, refusals of representation. 

Join us for the opening of Under Cinema from 6pm - 8.30pm on Thursday 26 October as part of the launch of Homotopia festival.


Tsang’s new commission is a co-production between FACT and Warp Records, and is developed with the support of the Goethe-Institut, London.


We hold where study was commissioned by curator Nadja Argyropoulou for Polyeco Art Initiative.


This exhibition is a collaboration with Nottingham Contemporary, where Devotional Document (Part 1) took place earlier this year.



The Related Events accompanying the exhibition will foreground experimental forms of filmmaking (particularly considering the role of activism and engagement within the practice) and will showcase artist-made film through a series of screenings, workshops and discursive events. FACT will present a wide-ranging programme, Refuge, which will investigate the notion of “refuge” or “safe-space”, in relation to art (and by extension to cultural institutions). These events will consider how art and artistic approaches can represent, or begin to give a platform to, a diversity of narratives usually underrepresented in mainstream media and discourse. The series, developed in collaboration with a variety of local partners, explores the positive effect of these possibilities but also their limitations and failures.

Alongside the exhibition, FACT’s Learning team will produce a variety of resources for Young People, families, and schools to better understand the themes covered in Tsang’s work, as well as her unique approach to documentary. 


For a list of related events, please click here