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Abandon Normal Devices festival hosted by FACT is to hit Liverpool in September, Liverpool Daily Post, 18 August 2009




ABANDON Normal Devices is the robotic-sounding instruction of this autumn’s massive art festival, courtesy of FACT.

In reality, AND, from September 23 citywide, hopes to stimulate us to respond in anything but a robotic way to the white noise of normal, daily, modern life.

Media consumption, business, cosmetic surgery and disability, war, sport and entertainment are all subjects provocative artists urge us to take a fresh look at.

Headliners at the event include Q&As with “renegade” film directors Ken Russell and Nick Roeg, a show by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the “godfather” of independent Thai film, and interaction with professional “troublemakers” The Yes Men, who have made a career out of showing up “dehumanisation” by the White House, McDonalds and the World Trade Organisation.

“Driving to work, calling a friend, walking along the street are things that become so normal we don’t even think about them,” says AND producer Gabrielle Jenks.

“The events round the city will expose invisible rules we live our lives by.”

An example she gives is the ordinary Saturday institution of Grandstand, which was ditched in favour of a sporting culture now dominated by celeb pundits, Sky Sports, stadiums and sponsorship.

The People Speak collective rip off the packaging. They’ve trained young people to be football pundits, gone to film a football match, for no money at all, then stuck their own Grandstand in a field to be screened.

Political projection artist Krzysztof Wodiczko will explore the aftermath of war, once soldiers have vanished into ordinary life.

He will project, onto landmarks like the Catholic Cathedral, real-life images and interviews with North West soldiers, struggling with isolation and post traumatic stress disorder.

A scene-by-scene remake of film Darling, called Action Diana, starring the Great British public playing the parts of the likes of Julie Christie will be premiered at FACT – shaking up performer and consumer roles.

And beware a trip to the shops.

Chris O’Shea has used the BBC screen in Clayton Square to literally grab shopper’s attention.

Inspired by “mythical giants” he’s invented a giant hand to reach out of the screen and “playfully transform them” from September 21-27, says Gabriella. On Thursday September 24 events will be open until late.





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