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FACT Residency winner to exhibit new work alongside actor and artist Shia LaBeouf

Ant Hamlyn degree show Thursday 10 December 2015

Fine Art graduate Ant Hamlyn, recipient of the first ever FACT/Liverpool Hope University Artist Residency award, is set to show his work alongside Hollywood actor and artist Shia LaBeouf.

In a world where we use Instagram and Twitter ‘likes’ to assess who and what is important, the major new exhibition Follow will ask what impact the internet is really having on our concept of ‘reality’, and how we think about ourselves, our idols and those around us.

Follow will be showing at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) in Liverpool from 11 December 2015 until 21 February 2016.

Ant’s piece, The Boost Project, which he completed during his six month residency, explores how the power of social media can give us a temporal state of appreciation. An inflating orb, symbolizing the sense of self-worth that we can feel after receiving ‘likes’ online, will grow in size if liked through Facebook, Tweeted about or Hashtagged via Instagram. If the orb is ignored, over time it will subtly deflate and fade into the background of our lives.

Follow will also showcase new work by art collective LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner, made up of Shia LaBeouf, Nastja Säde Rönkkö, and Luke Turner, who previously have created installations and performances across a variety of platforms including social media, art galleries and red carpet events.

Ant said of his experience, “It’s all gone so fast, it feels like a bit of a whirlwind since my degree show. It’s been extremely exciting, yet very challenging developing a work of such scale. With so many complicated elements, I’ve had to learn on the job and concisely plan everything from the prototype stages to the Installation. Having the support from the fantastic team at FACT and Liverpool Hope has allowed me to be very ambitious with the build!”

About Follow

The exhibition will also include artist Cécile B. Evans’ new video installation Commercials (It's not possible, it's real), which takes the form of commercials in a campaign, reflecting the real-time absurdity of contemporary marketing; online performance High Retention, Slow Delivery (2014) by artist Constant Dullaart, who purchased 2.5 million Instagram followers, which he then distributed amongst a cross section of the art-world Instagram profiles, highlighting the complexities of assessing value through 'Likes' or 'Follows' that can literally be bought.

The Follow Resource Space will feature a collection of journals, books, magazines, videos and games selected by the exhibition curators, situating Kim Kardashian’s Selfish book next to writing by thinkers and artists such as Hito Steyerl and Rob Horning. Alongside the exhibition, Follow will present workshops, events and drop-in activities inviting visitors to discuss, and gain skills and knowledge about, the online platforms we use daily, but rarely critically think about. Most prominently, FACT’s experimental workshop space FACTLab will turn into a pop-up production studio, complete with green screen, lighting rig and basic filming and editing equipment, providing a space for critical experimentation around the way we use social media.

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