Opening on March 11 in Los Angeles, The 14th Factory is a socially engaged art installation conceived by the Hong Kong‐based British artist Simon Birch. Taking over three acres of an empty industrial warehouse and lot on the outskirts of downtown Los Angeles, The 14th Factory is an immersive environment – a journey through 14 interlinked spaces comprised of video, installation, sculpture, paintings and performance created in collaboration with Birch and a global community of twenty interdisciplinary artists from China, Hong Kong, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
The project will be filming their documentary and promotional materials on site for the next 2-3 weeks, and guests can secure attendance via Eventbrite. The opening of the project post documentation and filming will be at a date TBD, but filming will take place during the entire course of the project until that date. Editors can publish their pieces saying as much or hold their pieces in embargo until we open without filming.
In entering The 14th Factory, the visitor is transformed into a central player in a collaboratively fabricated adventure that engages and unfolds, uniting individuals to the creative process and to each other. The exhibition challenges the current political climate by celebrating creative diversity and unity and to overcome obstacles and challenges as a global society.
Founder and artist Simon Birch has this to say about the project:
“This is a very emotional time for people, rife with division, anger, frustration. Many people are feeling unstable and upended with the political climate. Given the current fragile state of the world, we need unity more than ever...and we need action.
If there is anywhere in America that makes sense for our project; right here, right now, it’s Los Angeles. As artists, we have a responsibility to reflect, react, engage but above all, to not stand by the sidelines. The 14th Factory is an action.
The 14th Factory is like a world within our world that is opposite to the chaos but equally, reveals the chaos. And the project is therefore, a world that celebrates diversity, singularity and limitless possibility but also exposes darkness and hints at the dangers if we do nothing.
My hope for the 14th Factory is to bring a broad range of minds together, to uplift and inspire, ignite conversation, action and solutions but also to provoke. There are installations here that discuss love, loss, fear, pain, hope...our shared experience, but that also ask the question; as civilizations have risen and fallen, are we now at the brink of collapse or the start of a wonderful new chapter?
But beyond these elements, this duality, The 14th Factory is, we hope, a safe haven to bring people together under one roof, so that all may go on this journey, immerse in this experience and perhaps become transformed.”
This underlying theme informs the work of collaborating artists including Beijing multimedia and performance artist Cang Xin; Hong Kong‐based filmmaker Wing Shya; photographer and graphic designer Stanley Wong (anothermountainman); ceramic artist Sara Tse; New York composer Gary Gunn; UK video artists Scott Carthy and Doug Foster; British punk rockers Penny Rimbaud of the band Crass; Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys and Pauline Black of The Selector, who appear in paintings by Birch and in interviews within the project.
The 14th Factory features impressive design by Hong Kong‐based KplusK, with Paul Kember as lead architect who also helped design the structural environment of The Meteor in collaboration with Birch. Stretching from floor to ceiling, the enormous sculpture of a crashed meteor reflects the state of civilization collapsing slowly but appearing as a freeze‐frame explosion. Other installations include Birch’s Clear Air Turbulence where salvaged airplane tails fill an outdoor courtyard and The Barmecide Feast, a replica of a set piece from Stanley Kubrick’s Oscar®‐winning 2001: A Space Odyssey and much more.
Address: 440 N. Ave 19 Los Angeles, CA 90031
Tickets: $15 in advance through Eventbrite, $18 at the door. Special Donate‐What‐You‐Can, local residents and group tickets also available. Non‐profit, community groups, and schools free with advance reservation. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: Mon: CLOSED Tue: 11a ‐ 6p Wed: 11a ‐ 6p Thu: 11a ‐ 8p Fri: 11a ‐ 8p Sat: 10a ‐ 10p Sun: 10a ‐ 6p
About Simon Birch and The 14th Factory
British‐born, working class, of Armenian ancestry, Simon Birch dropped out of school early on and worked a variety of jobs, from rave party organizer and rock climbing entrepreneur in Britain and Australia, to construction worker, bouncer and DJ to support his emerging painting habit in Hong Kong. Through these years, he met and worked with a range of artists, filmmakers, designers, musicians, skaters, entrepreneurs, and adventurers, forming a wide‐reaching but close‐knit group of friends and collaborators across cultures and disciplines around the world. The 14th Factory emerged from these connections.
Over the last few years, Birch has ventured into film and installation work culminating in some particularly notable large‐scale projects: Azhanti High Lightning (2007, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore), This Brutal House (April 2008, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery and Annex, Chai Wan) and the 20,000sq ft multimedia installation ‘HOPE & GLORY: A Conceptual Circus’ (April 2010, ArtisTree, TaiKoo Place, Hong Kong). These large multimedia projects included film, paintings, installation, sculpture, and performance housed in specifically configured spaces. Birch’s work has been featured and reviewed in many international publications, including Artforum, The Guardian, The International Herald Tribune, Time Out and the New York Times.
About The 14th Factory Foundation
The 14th Factory Foundation is an independent, 501(c)(3) non‐profit global artist collective whose mission is to create large‐scale contemporary art experiences that act as vehicles for social impact.