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Sara Sadik, XENON PALACE CHAMPIONSHIP (2023). Installation view at FACT Liverpool. Photo by Rob Battersby

Sara Sadik

Sara Sadik presents XENON PALACE CHAMPIONSHIP (2023), an interactive film and installation environment that reflects on brotherhood and belonging, exploring the relationship between alienation, ambition, and securing your legacy.

FACT Liverpool
88 Wood Street
L1 4DQ
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Sara Sadik explores loneliness, love and empowerment through a fantastical blend of film, installation and games; creating worlds that sit between fiction and documentary. In XENON PALACE CHAMPIONSHIP (2023), Sara creates a space that allows groups of men who experience prejudice and cultural alienation in everyday life to escape and find solidarity through the shared space and experiences of the Xenon Palace hookah lounge.

In her work, Sara often focuses on the unique sub-cultures developed by diasporas, particularly in her homeland of France. Born from a sense of displacement and altering behaviours to better assimilate into a new culture, fashion, music and language become symbols that connect individuals and create new collective identities and belonging. Here, Sara deconstructs and reimagines these symbols within a fictional world, as we follow a group of men gathered in a place that can hold the multiplicity of their own selves.

The film joins a group of men as they gather for a gaming tournament, all playing for the keys to the Xenon Palace - a place created to escape reality. Following lone-wolf protagonist Émile-Samory, we experience the passion, drive and sense of belonging that the palace instils, but also the dependence on and social currency placed in being a part of this space. Echoing the haven of the palace, Sara has transformed the gallery into a magical hookah lounge. Here, you can take part in the gameplay as the narrative of the film unfolds, using custom-built hookah hoses to train and battle Xenons - fantastical creatures that emerge from wisps of smoke. As the tournament builds and tensions heighten, Émile-Samory reflects on brotherhood and belonging, highlighting the complex relationship between alienation, ambition, and securing your legacy.


The exhibition includes:

  • A room with a pink fluffy floor and pink quilted walls, lit with green and pink lights
  • Bright pink inflatable seats
  • Games controllers in the shape of hookah pipes
  • Loud music, and spoken dialogue in French
  • A mixture of live action and animated visuals. 
  • Occasionally the film contains flashing lights

If you have any questions or feedback about the accessibility of the exhibition, please ask at the Information Desk on the ground floor and we will be happy to help.

Header image: Sara Sadik, XENON PALACE CHAMPIONSHIP (2023). Installation view at FACT Liverpool. Photo by Rob Battersby

Exhibition supported by Fluxus Art Projects. Commissioned by LUMA Arles and Google Research Initiative.



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