Curated by Jon Savage and Mat Bancroft, Use Hearing Protection tells the story of Factory’s formative years from 1978 to 1982 through the first 50 numbered Factory artefacts, including works by Peter Saville, Joy Division, New Order, A Certain Ratio, Durutti Column and Linder Sterling.
Supported by rare and unseen materials from personal Factory archives, as well as non-Factory period items of influence, these combine to describe a period and atmosphere from which Factory was proposed and realised, underpinning its revolutionary cultural impact on the music, art, design and ideas of our times.
Factory Records was formed by Tony Wilson, Alan Erasmus and Peter Saville in 1978. In January 1979, A Factory Sample was released: this striking double EP was wrapped in a Peter Saville designed gatefold metallic silver sleeve, heat sealed in polythene and playing at 33rpm. A Factory Sample featured audio from Joy Division, Durutti Column, John Dowie and Cabaret Voltaire: it is a founding moment of Britain’s independent music sector as well as a vital artefact in the history of pop culture.