Exhibitions / 06 October - 04 November 2006


Show Time: 11.00am - 8.00pm

A journey through fifty years of musical adventure… Factotum is a Belfast based arts organisation. Their work sees them involved with a wide range of organisations and artists to produce arts events and activities that reach an audience through as direct a route as possible.In 2003 Factotum revived a choir that had been founded in the 1950’s. To understand what they had reincarnated they started a two year process of collecting memories and artefacts of the choirs turbulent history. On the 6th October, following a performance by the current choir, the materials were presented in an exhibition for the first time.The original Factotum choir was nothing if not eclectic, embracing socialism, satanism, pagan ritualism, folk and psychedelic performance art. The current incarnation of The Factotum Choir performs a variety of ideologically embarrassing repertoire including Stalinist and corporate songs.

Highlights of the exhibition included a behind-the-scenes film of rehearsals of their 1985 multimedia performance about Cúchulann, The Hound of Ulster. Original drawings from the folk opera, No Joy for Henry, where also included, as was explosive footage of their infamous pagan actionist ritual, Die Orgiegeheimnisse, performed in London in 1971. These documents and many others, including posters, letters, records and bizarre musical instruments, have been recovered from attics and libraries and in one case discovered in a hedge. The whole story is engagingly told by those who experienced the choir first-hand. This is achieved through a mixture of interviews and contextualising text, bringing this obscure but fascinating period of musical history to life. The Factotum choir also performed a specially commissioned corporate song for Project Arts Centre.


Factotum formed in 2001 by Stephen Hackett and Richard West, who both wanted to create projects outside the conventional exhibition spaces or formats. They adopt various strategies for the dissemination of their work and ideas, including dance, music, video projections, posters, books, newspapers and talks. Since 2003 Factotum has published a monthly free newspaper called The Vacuum. Factotum represented Northern Ireland at the 2005 Venice Biennale and won the Paul Hamlyn award in the same year.


Closed Sundays & Bank Holidays

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