15 Sep 2009
The Haçienda must be rebuilt! 
FAC 51 The Haçienda architect Ben Kelly and the design team of Ben Cox and Bill Holding at Morph have collaborated with the full approval and support of original owner Peter Hook to produce two separate, limited edition art prints of the original FAC 51 The Haçienda which are to be launched at Buy Art Fair at Urbis, Manchester from the 24-27 September 2009. The first night preview is on Thursday 24 September from 5-9pm and Ben Kelly, Morph and Peter Hook will be in attendance on the night.

The prints will subsequently be exhibited at the Zoo Art Fair in London from 16-19 October 2009 which takes place the same week as the Frieze Art Fair. At both exhibitions, the prints are exclusive to the Paul Stolper stand.

As FAC 51 The Haçienda has been beset by a number of unofficial and bootleg artworks which consistently fail to match the design standards set by the club, it was decided in early 2009 to produce this set of two art prints marking both East and West views of the original venue. This is the first and only time to date that FAC 51 The Haçienda has published any fine art prints of the club and marks an opportunity for art collectors to purchase exclusive and limited edition screen prints, officially endorsed by FAC 51 The Haçienda.

The project initially came about when Ben Cox and Bill Holding from Morph approached Ben Kelly in February 2007 about rebuilding The Haçienda as a digital model, requiring the original specifications from Ben who was happy to oblige.

Morph explain how the digital model came about: "The Haçienda must be rebuilt! On the 25th anniversary of the Haçienda's opening, we decided to begin work recreating it in a way that wasn't possible at the time of its original conception, as a highly detailed three-dimensional computer model. Working closely with Ben Kelly, using all the original architectural drawings and specifications, we faithfully reconstructed one of Manchester's lost landmarks enabling us to explore the space in new ways and bring the venue back to life."

Ben Kelly, who was delighted to help out, said "When Ben and Bill from Morph approached me and proposed that they wanted to digitally rebuild The Haçienda, I fully supported the idea. I had previously seen the incredible work Morph had executed - digitally recreating Unknown Pleasures for Peter Saville.

"From the outset, I felt that there was potential to combine views taken from the digital model using advanced software packages with the more traditional medium of silk screen printing. I imagined an almost painterly end product layered on top of the technological digital rebuild. I see the end product as a hybrid collaboration. Lurid colours on columns supporting a monochromatic container - - a ghost in the machine."

It was then decided to produce two fine art prints from the digital installation, namely an eastside and a westside view of the club across the dancefloor, showing the heroic scale and cathedral like quality of FAC 51's interior which has served to make the club so legendary and long lasting in the memories of those who were lucky enough to attend.

These high quality silkscreen prints have been produced to the highest specifications by Coriander Studio, Fine Art Printmakers and Publishers, one of the world's leading art print manufacturers whose client roster also includes Damien Hirst and Sir Peter Blake.

All prints will be signed by Ben Kelly and Morph whilst an additional signed provenance on the artwork will come from Peter Hook who was becoming increasingly frustrated with unofficial Haçienda products.

Hooky explains why: "The thing that appealed to me about the idea, in the first place, was that I was totally sick of the bootlegs and things not being done properly. It was a lovely idea to do and to have it done it right and by the right people, both artistically and morally, makes the entire project worthwhile.

"When I first saw the images, I was shocked. It was beautiful and I was really taken aback. It looked like you could have just fucking dived into it! I was over the moon! The Morph boys have done a great job, ably led, aided and abetted by our mate Ben Kelly. I am absolutely delighted that these prints highlight the beauty and individuality of The Haçienda and give credit to Ben, who more than deserves his credit, as to why The Haçienda worked (or didn't work) and why it was so astounding."

Each print is part of a limited run of only 150, making a full run of 300 across both prints and is printed on 410 gsm Somerset Tub paper. The image sizes are 615mm x 765mm on a paper size of 742 x 905 mm.

The prints are to be represented exclusively by the Paul Stolper Gallery.

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Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

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