Art Party! Cert. 12A Picture house at FACT

  • Released2014
  • Running time83 minutes
  • DirectorBob and Roberta Smith, Tim Newton
  • CastJulia Rayner, John Voce

Protesting against Michael Gove’s 2010 off-manifesto edict to virtually eliminate art from the school curriculum, artist Patrick Brill – aka Bob and Roberta Smith – organised a gathering in Scarborough last year to galvanise support and show, as one speaker put it, “that art is fundamental to life”.

Made with co-writer and director Tim Newton, this film follows a core of artists and musicians travelling by coach to the event. Scenes are interspersed with the imagined responses of Gove (Voce) and his parliamentary assistant (Rayner) – who eventually also attend, with unexpected consequences.

We’re entertained throughout by artists and activists including Jeremy Deller, Cornelia Parker and Maureen Duffy, with music provided by Flame Proof Moth, The Grubby Mitts and Janette Parris. Engagingly playful, but suitably sobering when it counts.

Following the film screening, FACT will host an Art Party in Ropewalks Square (outside FACT) featuring live music, screenprinting and interactive games.

Liverpool International Music Festival will present a host of local bands including Mutant Vinyl, Amique, We The Undersigned, and Sub Blue, who will be playing live music.

Liverpool-based designers and developers Draw & Code will unveil a new augmented reality experience demonstrating the impact of arts funding on one of Liverpool’s most famous streets. Using the cutting edge virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, users can take a walk along Hope Street, but with a crucial difference, buildings that would no longer exist without arts funding - such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and Everyman Theatre - have been deleted from the landscape.

The Bluecoat will be screenprinting t-shirts and posters with protest slogans designed by local artists. Visitors will be invited to try their hand at printing and can take home some of the handmade products.

Liverpool Pride will be bringing along some of their protest materials for display.  

New artist-led gallery Model will present their first offsite project. More information will be revealed soon. 

The Garden by LEAF will be open late, serving take away food and drinks for party-goers to enjoy in Ropewalks Square. 

The FACT exhibition We Buy White Albums, featuring artist Rutherford Chang’s collection of over 1000 first edition presses of The Beatle’s ‘White Album’ will be open late.

There will also be art parties happening at venues across the UK including Cornerhouse, Manchester, ICA, London, Chapterhouse, Cardiff and Steven Joseph Theatre, Scarborough – joined by cinemas, art galleries and art schools across the UK.

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