Opening this October in a 67,000 sqft industrial space The Factory Project promises to be one of the highlights of Frieze week. Over the coming weeks, FAD is talking to all ten curatorial teams taking part in the museum scale exhibition. Below we have HAZE
Can you tell us about your curatorial practice?
It all began over a bowl of Jellyfish noodles. We were sitting in a restaurant just as the first lockdown had ended, feeling excited to be able to hang out together again. We were both studying sculpture, and the college had just announced that all physical degree shows would be online. We have always been up for experimenting and trying new things and wanted to build a platform where we could help support emerging artists by creating nomadic physical shows. It felt important to make sure we did not lose the sense of a community that is so vital in developing artist practices.
Can you tell us a bit about the exhibition you will be presenting at The Factory Project?
We feel really grateful to Thorp Stavri for inviting us to be part of their project as we have only just started curating exhibitions this year, and it has been an incredibly exciting and informative experience so far. Because HAZE encourages experimentation, it is amazing to work with a space that really allows the artists to have no limitations. So, we have gone bold in our selection, and although some works are ambitious in scale, we are also nurturing those smaller pieces.
Which artists have you invited to take part in your section of The Factory Project and why have you chosen them?
We have quite an extensive list of artists, but they all relate to the cyborg as a central theme to our exhibition. Some of these artists include Shinuk Suh, Grace Woodcock, Jakob Rowlinson, Elliot Fox and Alexei Izmaylov, alongside many more we are really excited about! We felt we couldn’t ignore the history of the Factory space being such an impressive building and are excited to bring in works that fuse the notion of bodies and machines dissolving further into fluid hybrid forms.
How do you feel about the hijack of the word curator by editors, stylists, DJs, z list celebs, a-list celebs, TV personalities & influencers?
It’s interesting to use the term ‘hijack’ in itself as it makes the word ‘curator’ feel quite old fashioned in that the use of the word implies the role has rigid and set boundaries when we feel curation is constantly evolving. Hijacking the role as artists have given us a more considered approach to how we go about things. We also always love a challenge, as previously mentioned, and this was another one we were excited to have a go at!
The Factory Project takes place in a very large IRL exhibition space. How do you envision your exhibition to be presented?
If the factory was a body, the space in which we are having our show is where the brain or heart would be, as we are upstairs in the old office. We feel this space crosses over the domestic and the machine, which relates strongly to our theme of the cyborg hybrid we have been focusing on. We hope that the way the works come together will feel like the conversations you have in your brain – pushing and pulling against each other to create tensions which then relax at certain moments.
During COVID/ lockdown what have you been reading, watching, listening to?
SB: Binge-watching became quite a habit during lockdown, so I’m actively trying not to anymore! I loved the mini-series Pretend It’s a City with Fran Lebowitz chatting to Martin Scorsese – just pure delight. I have also just started Monster/Beauty by Joanna Frueh, which so far makes me feel a lot better about having an ‘over-expressive face’, as I have been told on many occasions..
CB: I’ve been so busy this year I was mainly just watching all the lectures that college had online. We had a great talk by Rebecca Tamas and really recommend her book ‘Strangers’ which is a selection of essays on the human and non-human. I also tend to listen to things whilst working and love the ‘Everything is Alive’ podcast where inanimate objects such as a lamppost, can of cola and a grain of sand are interviewed. It’s so funny and a really sharp, absurd account of everyday objects.
Have there been any positives for you from lockdown?
HAZE! We started our project just after the first lockdown, and it really helped find a renewed sense of excitement in how we could navigate the times ahead. Although we have only just started curating, we are already learning so much, and are incredibly grateful for the generosity of the people around us who have been essential for starting this project. It was so lovely to feel such a strong sense of community and caring during this period.
2022 what do you have plans? & do you feel confident about the future?
The way that we have been thinking about exhibitions for the future is by making groups of artists that we call our ‘artists puddles’. To us, these puddles are fluid and interchangeable, giving us a constant focus for potential upcoming shows –
The Factory Project is one of the largest curated events during London’s Frieze week and will be held at Thameside Industrial Estate, from 9 – 22 October 2021. Free Tickets
The Factory Project is an independent museum-scale exhibition that has been scheduled to take place during London’s Frieze week. It has been initiated to support emerging to mid-career artists and curators and is presented as a multi-disciplinary survey project. This exhibition plays host to 10 UK based independent curators and curatorial platforms; each producing their own exhibitions within the larger factory site and will be showcasing upwards of 80 artists.
The Factory Project takes place at the monumental Thameside Industrial Estate, a 6,284m2 warehouse and yard complex in North Woolwich, Newham – a short walk from London’s City Airport and nestled between the Tate & Lyle’s Sugar Refinery and the Thames Barrier – on Factory Road. It is produced by Thorp Stavri and is supported by Projekt and FAD Magazine.