Marina Abramović's fascination with the legendary soprano Maria Callas is the inspiration behind this new series, presented at Lisson Gallery for the exhibition 'Marina Abramović: Seven Deaths' (14 September - 30 October 2021).
Seven photographic plates feature Marina performing (sometimes through reinterpretation) the grisly ends of seven of Callas' most famous roles as an opera singer.
The photos were processed by Oak Taylor Smith and Teresa Casado at Factum Arte and converted into depth maps that were CNC-milled on seven irregular slabs of 10 to 12cm-thick alabaster. In an elaborate play between ephemeral and material, tone is used as relief to produce optical effects in the viewer´s eye; a purpose-built net of LED backlights creates the illusion of a self-diffused light.
Much like Marina's first production with Factum (Five Stages of Maya Dance, 2013), this series demonstrates the possibilities of working with translucent materials and lighting to create a multi-layered performance.
In 2014, the Museo del Prado commissioned Factum Arte to carry out high-resolution 3D scanning and composite colour photography of Francisco Goya's Black Paintings, for documentation and research purposes. It was the first large-scale project of high-resolution 3D digitisation of the surface of paintings ever realised.
The methodology and outcomes of this project have set the benchmark of how surface relief should be considered as a primary source for understanding the complex historic trajectories of artworks and cultural objects within a museum collection.
The series of five alabaster portraits of Marina Abramović created in collaboration with Factum Arte in 2013, is currently on long-term display in Alaior, Menorca, as part of LôAC - Alaior Contemporary Art.
LôAC is the result of an agreement between the town of Alaior and private art collectors. From June 17th 2021, over 140 contemporary art works from private collections will be on loan for a minimum of three years.
On 9th June, Rachid Koraïchi inaugurated his latest project, Le Jardin d’Afrique (The Garden of Africa), in the presence of UNESCO Director General Audrey Azouley. Built as a memorial resting place in Zarzis, Southern Tunisia, for the many migrants drowned while crossing the Mediterranean Sea, it is a non-denominational cemetery, garden and DNA database through which the artist proves once again that art can deal with the most important subjects, encourage compassion and make a difference in the face of great suffering.
Through October Gallery, Koraïchi describes Le Jardin d’Afrique as 'a walled garden, where geometrically laid out tombs are shaded by trees and scented herbs. The walkways dividing the rows of tombs are ornamented with tiles covered with talismanic glyphs, hearts and other auspicious signs. The garden is also populated by the figures of ‘those who pray’, representing family and friends in far-off lands as well as patrons, supporters and visitors who come to pay their respects.'
Factum Arte has rematerialised and donated two of the tombstones recorded in 2016 in Kala-Koreysh, Dagestan, Russia, linking back to the artist’s ancestors. While the tombstone will be installed soon in Jardin d’Afrique, we want to address our profound respect for Rachid Koraïchi’s oeuvre and empathy.
As part of the Saison Africa 2020 in Paris, El Anatsui was commissioned with the opening event in La Conciergerie, also known as Palais de la Cité.
For En quête de liberté (20 May 2020 - 14 November 2021), a collaboration between El Anatsui, October Gallery and Factum Arte, our team produced a new work centered on two video installations projected onto platforms located next to the central pillars of the Salle des Gens d’Armes.
'En quête de liberté', detail of the installation, 2020. El Anatsui © Eric Sander - CMN
Grayson Perry has been at work to make a large bell. It's Factum Foundation's first 'Art-Bell' commission on behalf of The London Bell Foundry, which demonstrates the new business model aimed at reviving the bell making industry. With the help of Nigel Taylor, who worked at the Whitechapel Bell foundry for 40 years, Grayson has created his Covid Bell, a commemorative artwork that will be rung to celebrate the end of the pandemic, the great work of the NHS staff, and that will toll for all those we have lost.
Modelled in clay in Grayson’s studio, it was scanned in 3D by Gabriel Scarpa during the past days. It will be enlarged, 3D printed, moulded and cast in collaboration with Pangolin Foundry in Gloucestershire. Pangolin has been an active supporter of the campaign to revitalise bell making and merge the traditional skills with new casting technologies. Grayson Perry’s Covid Bell will be the first of many fine art commissions The London Bell Foundry committed to make during the Public Inquiry. The plan for the Covid Bell is to make a tour of the hospitals in England, where the public and the NHS can engage directly with it in a series of moving emotional and cathartic events. This is the role bells have always played throughout history and human memory. Bells have their own voice. It is intended that the Covid Bell will end its journey in front of the Covid research labs in Oxford, saluting the importance of technology and innovation.
Tracing Fallen Sky was a new production for Sarah Sze, following a first collaboration with Factum Arte in 2018 for Split Stone (7:34) and Split Stone (Northwest).
The sculpture is made of 115 individual stainless steel pieces, cast from 3D-printed models, on top of which a custom-bent curve of polished sheets of metal was welded. Tracing Fallen Sky was made for the artist's second solo show at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain ('Night into Day', 24 October 2020 - 30 May 2021).
On 19 October, a tour of the exhibition was livestreamed on social media, with French philosopher Bruno Latour joining the artist in a promenade-conversation around the installations. Although Fondation Cartier was closed on 29 October due to COVID-19 restrictions, this insightful conversation is a great opportunity to enjoy the exhibition in virtual form. Click here to watch the tour
Sarah Sze, Tracing Fallen Sky, exhibition 'Night into Day', Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, 2020. Photo © Luc Boegly
The video animation created by Grégoire Dupond for the exhibition 'The Arts of Piranesi' at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in 2010 is on show at Museo Carmen Thyssen, in Malaga, for the exhibition Piranesi. Estampas de un visionario (April 22 - July 25 2021).
Following the end of the exhibition 'Raffaello (1520 - 1483)' at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome, Factum Arte has installed the recreation of the tomb of Raphael in Urbino.
The monumental structure will remain on display in the Chiesa dei Carmelitani Scalzi from May 15 2021 until 2031, in accordance with the decision of the State Property office. The installation was an idea of the deputy mayor Vittorio Sgarbi and made possible by the mayor Maurizio Gambini. The tomb will form part of the city’s cultural and historical itinerary for visitors interested in Raphael's life in Urbino, as the church is located next to Raphael's monument and his birthplace.
For Noor Riyadh 2021, commissioned by the Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC) as a Riyadh Art program, Ahmed Mater collaborated with Factum Arte to develop the concepts he began to explore in 2017 with his piece Mitochondria: Powerhouses. The site-specific installation was composed of a 2 million volt Tesla coil, capable of electrical discharges of up to 2m, surrounded by six sculptures produced by Factum Arte resembling fulgurite - vitrified sand that naturally forms when lightning hits the ground.
Factum Arte is delighted to have collaborated with the Frick Collection in New York for an unprecedented contextualization of Francesco da Sangallo's bronze St John Baptising. The statuette is on display on top of a recreation of the marble baptismal font where it originally stood, in the church of Santa Marie delle Carceri in Prato, Italy.
In the summer of 2020, the original font was recorded in high resolution by Factum Foundation using structured white light scanning. A team of craftsmen from Factum Arte then worked on recreating the marble stoop without the oxidisation and cracks that the original one presents after more than four hundred years of use.
More on the project