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<i>Kintsugi Aurea</i> at COP26
Kintsugi Aurea at COP26

Roksana Ciurysek-Gedir and Kas Galos worked with Factum Arte on the production of their new series, dedicated to raising awareness and hopefulness towards environmental issues. Kintsugi Aurea was presented at COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow (October 31 - Nov 12, 2021).

The concept of re-using was explored by giving new life to a 2m stainless steel sphere, originally mirror polished.

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<i>Morris, Gainsborough, Turner, Riley</i>
Morris, Gainsborough, Turner, Riley

Grayson Perry's most recent work has been produced for the artist in collaboration with Paragon | Contemporary Editions Ltd and unveiled at Frieze London (13 - 17 October 2021). Factum Arte's textile studio in Madrid has worked with Grayson on all his tapestry works.

This complex image interlaces four identifiable artworks by Gainsborough, William Turner, William Morris and Bridget Riley. Working a bit like a random-dot stereogram, each image in turn comes to the foreground. Creating this illusion depends on the control of both tone and colour, and this was the most challenging tapestry yet - both in the design of the weave structure and the control of the colour combinations.

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New work for Ahmed Mater on show at Frieze 2021
New work for Ahmed Mater on show at Frieze 2021

For his solo show at Frieze 2021 with ATHR Gallery (13 – 17 October 2021), Ahmed Mater presented a new body of work that reflects on the ways in which surveillance technologies have become omnipresent, drastically transforming the rules of both conflict and ‘track and trace’. Eagle, an enlarged version of a General Atomics MQ-1 Predator drone, was the central part of the ATHR Gallery installation at Frieze.

In previous works made with Factum, the power of electricity was used to fuse sand into complex forms of crude glass. This new work also emerges from the sand referring back to the fulgurite works but appearing like an impossible sand sculpture.

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<i>Fallen Sky</i> series at Gagosian and Victoria Miro
Fallen Sky series at Gagosian and Victoria Miro

The concept behind Tracing Fallen Sky (2020) and the permanent installation at Storm King Center, New York, continues in the series 'Fallen Sky'. The terracotta maquette recorded in 2019 was resized to three different diameters and 3D printed at Factum Arte and Materialise, before being cast in stainless steel at Fademesa Foundry.

Wider Than the Sky (72 inches / 182,88 cm) and Deeper Than the Sea (36 inches / 91,44 cm), two of the pieces from the series, were on show at Gagosian for the exhibition 'Sarah Sze: New Works' (September 20 – November 13, 2021). Other pieces of the series were also on display at Victoria Miro in London for the exhibition 'Sarah Sze' (12 October – 6 November 2021).

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© Sarah Sze. Photo: Julien Gremaud. Courtesy the artist and Gagosian

Grayson Perry's bell at Pangolin Foundry
Grayson Perry's bell at Pangolin Foundry

Following the very sad and short-sighted decision by the government and the Public Inquiry system to approve the conversion of the Whitechapel Bell foundry into a ‘Soho House’-style club and hotel, Factum Arte is moving ahead to prove there is a need and demand for bell production in the C21st. Grayson Perry’s Covid Bell was announced at the Public Inquiry last November and sculpted by Grayson in Spring 2021.

Scanned and processed by Factum Arte’s team in June, it is now being cast at Pangolin Foundry in Gloucestershire, making the first step in the revival of bell making. The London Bell Foundry is being formed to replace the Whitechapel Bell foundry that was sacrificed after almost 500 years of continuous work to make way for a boutique hotel.

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<i>Pillow Fort Playground</i>: Afra al Dhaheri at Expo 2020 Dubai
Pillow Fort Playground: Afra al Dhaheri at Expo 2020 Dubai

Artist Afra Al Dhaheri worked with Factum Arte on her site-specific installation Pillow Fort Playground with Green Art Gallery, as part of the Public Art Programme of Expo 2020 Dubai (October 1 2021 - March 31 2022). According to the artist, the pillow fort emerges from her childhood memories of tikkay, traditional embroidered Emirati floor cushions. Al Dhaheri decided to translate the softness and impermanence of the cushions into an illusion of softness carved in hard, cold marble.

The artwork will become a permanent fixture of the Expo 2020 Dubai site after the event closes in March 2022 and the area becomes District 2020.

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<i>Seven Deaths</i>
Seven Deaths

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.

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More on Marina Abramović's work with Factum Arte

Recording Goya's Black Paintings at the Museo del Prado

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.

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<i>Five Stages of Maya Dance</i> on display in Menorca
Five Stages of Maya Dance on display in Menorca

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.

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Opening of <i>Le Jardin d'Afrique</i>
Opening of Le Jardin d'Afrique

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.

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Saison Africa2020: El Anatsui opening at La Conciergerie
Saison Africa2020: El Anatsui opening at La Conciergerie

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.

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'En quête de liberté', detail of the installation, 2020. El Anatsui © Eric Sander - CMN

Grayson Perry's <i>Covid Bell</i>
Grayson Perry's Covid Bell

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.

More on this project
More on the battle to save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry
More on Factum Arte's work with Grayson Perry

Sarah Sze on show in Paris
Sarah Sze on show in Paris

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

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Sarah Sze, Tracing Fallen Sky, exhibition 'Night into Day', Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, 2020. Photo © Luc Boegly

Piranesi's <i>Carceri d'Invenzione</i> video on show at Museo Carmen Thyssen, Malaga
Piranesi's Carceri d'Invenzione video on show at Museo Carmen Thyssen, Malaga

The video animation created by Grégoire Dupond for the exhibition 'The Arts of Piranesi' at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in 2010 was on show at Museo Carmen Thyssen, in Malaga, for the exhibition Piranesi. Estampas de un visionario (April 22 - July 25 2021).

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New works for Rachid Koraïchi
New works for Rachid Koraïchi

The solo exhibition 'Tears that Taste of the Sea' (13 April - 12 June 2021) at October Gallery, London, brings together for the first time four elements from the series 'Le Jardin d'Afrique', Rachid Koraïchi's new project. A new series of calligraphic figures (Les Vigilants), made of water jet-cut corten steel and painted in black, was produced earlier this year and is on show.

Built by the artist, 'Le Jardin d'Afrique' is a non-denominational cemetery, garden and DNA database in Zarzis, Tunisia for people who drowned while crossing the Mediterranean. Koraïchi aims to prove that art can really deal with the most important subjects, encourage compassion and empathy and make a difference in the face of great suffering. The graveyard will feature rematerialisations of two tombstones recorded in 2016 for the Zarzis cemetery in Dagestan, in agreement with Zumrud Suleymanova, former Minister of Culture in Dagestan.

Factum Arte and Rachid Koraïchi also worked on the production of a new tapestry which will form part of Jardin d’Afrique. Factum’s tapestry studio worked with Marcos Ludueña on the digital file and the colour selection before the tapestry was woven on Jacquard looms at Flanders Tapestries in Belgium.

More on 'Le Jardin d'Afrique'
More on the Rachid Koraïchi's work with Factum Arte

Recreation of the tomb of Raphael installed in Urbino
Recreation of the tomb of Raphael installed in Urbino

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.

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New works by Shirazeh Houshiary on show in New York
New works by Shirazeh Houshiary on show in New York

Aura and Twilight, two new sculptures made at Factum Arte with glass bricks produced at Berengo Studio for Shirazeh Houshiary, were on display at Lehmann Maupin as part of the exhibition 'A Thousand Folds' (April 8 – May 28).

More on the process

<I>Mitochondria: Powerhouses</I> at Noor Riyadh 2021
Mitochondria: Powerhouses at Noor Riyadh 2021

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.

More on the project

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