Under Cinema

  • 26 October 2017 - 18 February 2018

Artist, filmmaker and performer Wu Tsang’s new solo show explores issues of identity and connection through non-traditional filmmaking.


To get a taste of the exhibition, watch the trailer.


Under Cinema is part of Refuge, a wide-ranging programme investigating the idea of 'safe spaces' in relation to art.


"(Wu) Tsang sidesteps tired conventions, composing intimate reveries in order to conjure a defiant sense of far-from-mainstream social belonging." - The Guardian

Wu Tsang is a filmmaker, artist and performer based in Berlin and New York. Her practice explores states of connectedness and ‘in-between-ness’, often manifesting as collaboration, or in the merging of disciplines such as performance, moving image, sculpture, and installation. Her work focuses on moments or narratives of displacement and belonging, and uses them to collapse the boundaries between documentary and fiction. Tsang’s filmmaking style is characterised by a mesmerising slipperiness and a tendency towards magic realism, or moments of fantasy within realistic portrayals. Her playful approach to fluid representation opens up possibilities within the spaces between reality and fiction, or intent and interpretation.

The exhibition Under Cinema investigates how artistic practice, and its products, are positioned to challenge dominant narratives. The world premiere of a newly commissioned film of the same name features the acclaimed American singer-songwriter Kelela, and is staged as a site- specific installation for FACT’s Gallery 2, which is located under a cinema space. This is complemented by 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.




Under Cinema is co-commissioned by FACT and Warp Records 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.


Image: Production still, Under Cinema (2017), Film by Wu Tsang. Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin.



This Autumn at FACT, contextualising Wu Tsang: Under Cinema, a wide-ranging programme called Refuge investigates the notion of “refuge” or “safe-space” in relation to art (and by extension to cultural institutions). These events consider how artistic approaches can represent, or begin to give a platform to, a diversity of narratives usually underrepresented in mainstream media and discourse. 


Please visit fact.co.uk/refuge to find out more, and for booking details.

The public programme is supported by Film Hub North West Central, a member of the BFI Film Audience Network, the School of Histories, Languages, Cultures at the University of Liverpool, and Hope University.

Download our free learning resource for Under Cinema by clicking here.