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Broken Symmetries - A new exhibition at FACT Liverpool, opening 22 November 2018



Part of the Winter 2018 season

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'Broken Symmetries' is comprised of artworks which rethink scientific facts by performing or interrogating theories and experiments - challenging our very notions of reality and how we arrive at something as ‘certain fact’. The works question how much we really know about the world around us, and how we may begin to discover new aspects by looking at the world differently.

All of the artists included in the exhibition are either previous winners of, or have received an honorary mention in the Collide International Residency Award, one of the core programmes of Arts at CERN in collaboration with FACT since 2016. 'Broken Symmetries' presents some of the work undertaken as a result of this collaboration, showcasing artworks developed whilst in residence between Arts at CERN, Geneva and FACT over the last three years.

Lesley Taker, Exhibitions Manager at FACT, said: “Now more than ever, it is of increasing importance that we understand the world around us is not as it seems. Understanding just how much of our existence relies on changing narratives has long been a pursuit of scientists and artists, and interdisciplinary working within this - something at the heart of both CERN and FACT’s ethos - is vital.”

“We are thrilled to partner on a project which celebrates and showcases international collaborations. The last three years of collaboration between CERN and FACT have seen some of the most exciting artists working with science engage with the programme, creating works in which some of the most urgent questions of our time collide with the forefront of science.”

The ten international artists included in 'Broken Symmetries', which has been curated by Mónica Bello and José-Carlos Mariátegui, are: Julieta Aranda (MX/DE), Diann Bauer (US/UK), James Bridle (UK/GR), Juan Cortés (CO), hrm199 (Haroon Mirza in collaboration with Jack Jelfs) (UK), Yunchul Kim (SK), Lea Porsager (DK), Semiconductor (UK), Yu-Chen Wang (TW/UK) and Suzanne Treister (UK).

Works in the exhibition include Yunchul Kim’s Cascade (pictured above) - the work explores the potentialities of matter by utilising the pattern of electrically charged subatomic particles called muons. When muons are detected, the experiments tubes flash with light. These beautiful objects not only visualise a kinetic experiment, but also a living organism that interacts with its environment - triggered by the patterns and movements of these invisible particles.

Hrm199’s work imagines a situation in the year 4250, where spoken communication is rendered archaic and defunct due to higher powers of supernatural and mystical phenomena. Drawing on ritual and the relationship between written and spoken word, the piece uses video elements combined with electric circuits which generate light and sound to create a synesthetic installation.

Mónica Bello, Curator and Head of Arts at CERN, said: “The process of learning through discovery in arts and science make them well-suited partners in interdisciplinary work. The art displayed in this exhibition is a result of three years of intense dialogue between the winners of Collide International artists-in-residence and physicists at CERN. It illustrates how scientists and artists can work together to create a culture that explores questions about the universe we live in.”

The opening of 'Broken Symmetries' will be accompanied by a series of opening talks to be held on 22 November 2018, a partnership between FACT and Liverpool John Moores University as the next in their series of Liverpool LASER events, which bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations.

'Broken Symmetries' is opening in a key year for FACT: 2018 is FACT’s 15th anniversary year, as well as the 10th anniversary of Liverpool’s year spent as European Capital of Culture. Broken Symmetries also follows the phenomenal success of 'AURORA' at Toxteth Reservoir earlier this year, and continues to push forward FACT’s ambitious exhibitions programme.

Co-produced by ScANNER (Science-Art Network for New Exhibitions and Research), the exhibition will tour to ScANNER partner institutions at the end of the exhibitions run in Liverpool in March 2019. The exhibition will tour to CCCB, Barcelona; iMAL, Brussels; and le lieu unique, Nantes.

Broken Symmetries was developed as part of the Collide International Award, apartnership programme between Arts at CERN and FACT (2016-2018), and was co-produced by ScANNER (Arts at CERN, FACT, CCCB, iMAL and le lieu unique). Additional support from The University of Liverpool and Innoviris, the Brussels Institute for Research and Innovation.