Fabrica – REEF

To be notified of the launch of the Fabrica REEF project please sign up here: http://reef.launchrock.com/

This August, artist Simon Faithfull’ will purposefully sink a boat in Weymouth Bay, south-coast of England. The event will be broadcast live to viewers via a downloadable app.

From the moment the boat begins its journey to the bottom of the sea, onboard cameras will transmit live video images so online viewers can witness the boat’s slow metamorphosis into a new underwater ecosystem, in the form of an artificial reef. The cameras will then remain transmitting for a year, with the images relayed to exhibitions in Brighton, Calais and Caen.

REEF is Faithfull’s most ambitious project to date representing a unique collaboration between the artist, arts organisations, marine industries and conservationists, divers and specialist technicians.

Collaboration with partners in Portland, Dorset, most notably Wreck to Reef, a not-for-profit organisation seeking to regenerate an area of the seabed near Portland has been key to the development and success of REEF.

Sinking the boat
REEF begins in August in Portland when the boat will be towed out to sea and set alight. As the fire burns, the boat will slowly sink to the seabed beginning its new life as an artificial reef – a new ecosystem gradually emerging around the wreck.

Witnessing the boat sink and monitoring its progress
Online audiences will be able to see the boat sinking via a downloadable app The live video-feed from these underwater cameras will continue to be broadcast online via a dedicated website showing the world a mysterious process of transformation – a defunct vessel slowly becoming a colonised artificial reef.

Exhibitions and audiences
REEF is a key commission within the Brighton Photo Biennial (BPB14) that explores the role
photography performs in relation to ideas of community, collective and collaboration. It will premiere at Fabrica (Brighton) in October, as part of Brighton Photo Biennial before touring to FRAC Basse Normandie (Caen) and Musee des Beaux Arts Calais as part of two larger exhibitions of Faithfull’s work.

In September film footage of the sinking event and live video streamed from the seafloor will form the basis of a complex installation in Fabrica. The architecture of Fabrica (a former chapel) is reminiscent of a huge upturned boat and suspended beneath its rafters two large projection screens will show excerpts of the boat smoking and sinking beneath the waves. At ground level, a series of bulky monitors will show the mysterious images coming from the drowned boat.

Looking up, visitors will see the two large projections set against the ship-like timbers of the church’s roof. Recorded footage will show the last moments of the vessel’s life in the daylight above the waves. Down amongst the visitors, five monitors present the live footage from the seabed, struggling to make its way back from another darker, slower realm.

REEF will then tour to northern France as one element in a major two-site survey of Faithfull’s work showing at FRAC Basse-Normandie (5 December 2014-15 February 2015) and Musee des Beaux Arts,
Calais until June 2015.

Other works that will be shown at FRAC Basse-Normandie alongside REEF include: 0º00 Navigation
(2009), Going Nowhere 2 (2011) and Quenanville as Antipode (a premiere presentation of a new

At the Musee des Beaux Arts, Calais REEF will be presented alongside: Cross Channel – 6 Days in
Limbo (2011), ‘44’ (2005), ‘…Stromness…’ (2005), Falling (2005), Escape Vehicle no.6 (2004) and
Liverpool to Liverpool (2010). Details about each of the work can be found on the artist’s website:

Key REEF events:
August – the boat sinks in Portland, Dorset marking the beginning of a continuous online broadcast for
12 months.

12 September 2014 – 13 Fathoms, a performance lecture by Simon Faithfull, part of B-Side Festival,
Portland, Dorset.

3 October 2014 – Opening weekend of BPB2014 (continues until 2 November 2014)

4 October 2014 – REEF opens at Fabrica, Brighton (Preview 6-9pm 3 October, exhibition continues until 23 November 2014). The gallery programme includes 13 Fathoms, a performance lecture by Simon Faithfull, and From Wreck to REEF, a discussion event about the how and why of artificial reefs and the making of Faithfull’s REEF project.

REEF will then tour to northern France as one element in a major two-site survey of Faithfull’s work showing at FRAC Basse-Normandie (5 December 2014-15 February 2015) and Musee des Beaux Arts,
Calais until June 2015.

About the Artist
Simon Faithfull’s practice has been described as an attempt to understand and explore the planet as a sculptural object – to test its limits and report back from its extremities. Within his work Faithfull often builds teams of scientists, technicians and transmission experts to help him bring back a personal vision from the ends of the world. He has been exhibited extensively around the world. Recent projects include a film featuring the artist walking through a burning jet plane (commissioned by Tatton Park Biennial), a video-work recording the artist walking across the bottom of the sea (created with the help of a scubadiving expert and underwater cameras). Other projects include a video-work recording the journey of a domestic chair as it is carried to the edge of space beneath a weather balloon (commissioned by Arts Catalyst), a drawing project sending back live digital-drawings from a two month journey to Antarctica (commissioned by Arts Council and the British Antarctic Survey) and an animated film developed from drawings made on a walk out of London along the A13 trunk-road (a Channel 4 TV commission with Arts Council England). Born in the UK Simon Faithfull studied at Central St Martins and then Reading
University. His practice takes a variety of forms – ranging from lens based media, to digital drawing, installation work and writing. Faithfull is also a lecturer at Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London, and an External Examiner at Manchester Metropolitan University. He currently resides in London and Berlin.

About the project and its partners
REEF is a co-commission by Fabrica, Photoworks, Musee des Beaux Arts Calais and FRAC Basse-
Normandie (Caen) produced in collaboration with the artist Simon Faithfull (and his associate, producer Caroline Smith), and partners in Dorset, most notably Wreck to Reef (which involves several stakeholders), O’Three, and Quest Marine (all based on Portland in Dorset) and Weber Industries (London).

Fabrica is a visual arts organisation based in a former Regency church in the heart of Brighton. It has an
expertise in commissioning and presenting site-sensitive art and installations specific to the building. Fabrica supports and encourages the artists with whom it works to be adventurous and to test the boundaries of their practice. It encourages an open dialogue between artists and visitors within the gallery space and produces an integrated programme of education and audience development activity that strives to remove barriers to access, engagement and understanding. Fabrica is defined by its interlinking strands of activity; its exhibition, learning and audience development programmes, support for artists, a volunteer and work placement scheme, the development of an online presence and one-off projects.

Photoworks is an agency dedicated to enabling participation in photography, the most democratic medium of our contemporary visual culture. We do this by connecting outstanding artists with diverse audiences through an innovative range of projects, events and platforms. Collaboration is central to our work, making us an agile and responsive organisation, able to deliver projects at local, regional, national and international level. Photoworks’ activities include commissions, mentoring, publishing, a learning and participation programme and the Brighton Photo Biennial, the UK’s leading curated photography festival. Photoworks is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.

The Musée des Beaux Arts de Calais has presented contemporary art for over 35 years. It was one of the first museums to exhibit the work of Joseph Beuys and Yayoi Kusama and has collections including 19th Century watercolours and work exploring the Calais region and its artists. Both the permanent and temporary exhibitions have strong connections to British art and a cross-border dimension is at the centre of the Museum’s programming policy. The Musée has an established expertise in gallery education, particularly with young people and local audiences. It initiates new ways of raising awareness of art through its participation and interpretation managers, and through adapting the audience development programme to the needs of different groups.

FRAC Basse-Normandie is one of a network of FRACs across France, The Fond Régional d’Art
Contemporain de Basse-Normandie continues to develop its collection of over 460 international artists, which it exhibits across the Basse-Normandie region and beyond, in line with its mission to circulate the work and its ideas. Alongside this activity it commissions and exhibits contemporary exhibitions, including off-site and touring works. It has a well-developed education programme, including an expertise in developing work with young people through making connections between schools, the FRAC collection and artists.

La Communauté d’Agglomeration du Calaisis
Calaisis District Council ‘s project the Jardin des Arts puts artists and cultural producers in direct contact with the residents of the Calais region. It facilitates a process of exchange and learning through establishing artist residencies, placing artists in local schools to engage with young people, educators and the wider community, whilst encouraging the development of their own practice and professional skills.

REEF is part of Time and Place, a collaborative project involving five cultural partners: Fabrica, Brighton,
and Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art, Norwich, in the UK; Musée des Beaux-arts, Calais, FRAC Basse
Normandie, Caen and the District of Calaisis in France, selected in the framework of the Interreg IVA France (Channel) – England cross-border European cooperation programme, part-financed by the
ERDF. Running from autumn 2012 to 2015 Time and Place is enabling these organisations to work
together and produce an art and education programme on the themes of Changing Landscapes and
Aftermath (the heritage of war – art, conflict and death, migration and settlement).

To be notified of the launch of the Fabrica REEF project please sign up here: http://reef.launchrock.com/

Fabrica-REEF-Press Release 28-7-14

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