FACT’s Digital Art Installation

By Demi Williams

As part of the Spring 2019 season, the Liverpool FACT picturehouse has opened a new exhibition from the works of two renowned female artists.

American filmmaker Ericka Beckman and London based artist Marianna Simnett have  created different forms of visual storytelling curated by Zabludowicz Collection.

The exhibit shows what we can learn about modern day society from traditional fairy tales, with one piece being a reimagined Cinderella. Ericka Beckman uses the imagery and style of early computer games to explore how women adhere to societal norms.

Both of Beckman’s films being shown are rewrites of classic fairy tales, using innovative technology of the 80’s to explore the female identity. Over thirty years since its initial release, Cinderella (1986) is a musical re-imagining of the fairy tale in which the main character staggers through various levels of the narrative, as if she’s in a video game. The film is about self-realisation, with the main character trying to overcome several obstacles; with musical numbers and vivid colour.

Ericka Beckman, Cinderella 1986. Installation view at FACT (credit) Rob Battersby

Simnett’s films explores themes of innocence and corruption, depicting young female characters who have control of themselves, challenging certain ideologies. Blood (2015) is a dreamlike story with a young girl who navigates her own identity from the position of a sickbed, she encounters a ‘sworn virgin’ who has elected to live life as a man. The Udder (2014) is set on a small dairy farm in West Sussex and a film described as having symbols of sexuality, beauty, purity and morality.

Left: Marianna Simnett, The Udder 2014. Right: Marianna Simnett, Blood, 2015. Installation view at FACT (credit) Rob Battersby

The show uses unique digital and real-life imagery to tell thought provoking films. Both artists have created innovative visual stories, with Beckman using technology of the 1980’s for her aesthetic accompanied with pop-culture imagery.

Keli Drew said: “I’m a big film fan and this exhibit was a new experience. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was different in a good way. I liked the Cinderella film the most, the style and the music was my favourite part.”

Another attendee said: “It’s one of the best exhibits that’s been at FACT, in my opinion. It’s so different than anything i’ve seen before. I think it will have a really powerful influence on women, especially.”

The exhibit is running from 29th March – 16th June 2019 for free, so there’s plenty of time to catch the art installation.

For more information on the installation, and other events, visit FACT’s website: www.fact.co.uk


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