Once, I learned that Cornerhouse in Manchester was showing the first comprehensive UK exhibition of new and recent contemporary art from Iraq – since the first Gulf War to the present day, I became really intrigued. The show examines new practices and fresh perspectives from a culture torn with conflict, and given the country’s recent historical context and the emphasis of media news stories on political instability, this show explores and challenges expectations of Iraq today.
I am a sucker for Indie films, especially the ones with an overarching artistic licence. I like films that are shot with integrity using every inch of light and space for effect – films that assume the audience can think, ones in which the director gives us a bit of freedom to explore and develop our own interpretations.
It’s amazing what a holiday can do for you. Now, I’m a person that likes the off-the-beaten path type of break. I’m fond of going to new places preferably without hoards of tourists. I like to take my time, soak up the environment.
Visiting Giant’s Causeway has always been on my list of things to do. I know that 500,000 people visit each year, so there are a lot of people, but needless to say, it wasn’t overrun when I went. A few things: Firstly, I love the outdoors (people often find that hard to believe, which is a little peculiar) and I love hiking. I also enjoy being near the sea; the place where the land ends and the water begins. I love to look out at all that space. I want a boat, like you wouldn’t believe.
I am a huge fan of the City of Glasgow. It’s so vibrant. It has feeling of innovation running thought it, something that I can connect with. I’ve been a few times for the Glasgow Art Fair, and every time, I’ve just embraced the city more and more.With its history and culture, there’s so much to see and do – from GOMA to the CCA. So I was delighted to find out that the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art opens in just over a week. Glasgow’s vibrant art scene takes over the city as its museums, galleries, and many other spaces showcase the work of both Glasgow-based and international artists in a vast array of exhibitions and events, celebrating the very best in contemporary visual art.
Over 50 artists are presenting sculpture, drawings, installations, films, videos, sound works, performances and music in venues ranging from the city’s renowned Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – taking part in this growing event for the first time – through the Hunterian Art Gallery and Tramway to diverse artist-run collectives, small galleries and temporary sites. Under the direction of Katrina Brown and with many projects revolving around the theme of ‘past, present, future’, Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art opens on 16 April 2010 for two weeks.
Using ceramics, bronze and a little taxidermy, Glasgow-based David Shrigley creates a collection of intriguing sculptures and objects for museum cases at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum; Glasgow-born Susan Philipsz’ specially-commissioned and highly evocative sound work Lowlands resonates from bridges that span the River Clyde. One of the most acclaimed artists to have emerged from the city, Douglas Gordon opens the Festival with a new video installation in Tramway’s celebrated theatre space citing his own landmark work 24 Hour Psycho.
Renowned environmental arts organisation NVA (featured long-ago in issue 16 of Aesthetica) re-enact the infamous White Bike Plan, a Dutch anarchist eco-action of the 1960s, by releasing fifty white bikes on to the city’s streets for free use between Festival venues, whilst Kate Davis and Faith Wilding collaborate on an exhibition exploring feminist legacies in contemporary art at the Centre for Contemporary Arts(CCA).
A number of international artists are also at the heart of the programme: a significant selection of important works on paper by the enduringly influential Joseph Beuys along with a group of ‘vitrine’sculptures, including the legendary ‘Fat Chair’ and the iconic portrait of Beuys by Andy Warhol on display at the Hunterian Art Gallery as part of ARTIST ROOMS on Tour; renowned Swiss artist Christoph Büchel, known for his massive-scale, hyper-real experiential works takes on the imposing space at Tramway with the creation of an extra-ordinary, provocative and complex installation. Tramway’s other spaces present a striking programme of experimental film, video installation and live performance by Leslie Thornton, Graham Eatough and Keren Cytter.
David Maljkovic (Croatia) – one of the most exciting artists to emerge from Europe in recent years – has his first solo show in the UK in a striking space in the Merchant City, made available for the Festival. Maljkovic’s work reflects on the Festival’s themes with a gathering of recent works in film and collage that explore the legacy of Modernist monuments and abstraction; while in an adjacent space Gerard Byrne, who represented Ireland to great acclaim at the Venice Biennale 2007,presents a major new video installation commissioned by the Festival that re-visits the history of Minimal Art and its reception. Internationally-acclaimed artist Fiona Tan shows her mesmerising video installation Tomorrow at the Gallery of Modern Art.
The redoubtable punk artist-designer Linder exhibits her montage images at Sorcha Dallas Gallery and presents a unique thirteen-hour performance in collaboration with celebrated fashion designer Richard Nicoll and musician Stuart McCallum; and Alice Channer, who is attracting increasing attention for her fabric-based works, takes on the architecture of the Mackintosh Gallery in her first work in Scotland at The Glasgow School of Art. Washington Garcia presents the work of Australian artist David Noonan at the Mitchell Library, while the legendary Jimmie Durham shows Universal Miniature Golf(The Promised Land) – the outcome of a Production Residency at Glasgow Sculpture Studios. Claire Barclay shows a range of new works using diverse techniques at Glasgow Print Studio; and The Modern Institute opens its new premises on Osbourne Street with a show by Glasgow’s own Jim Lambie.
Open Glasgow is a new initiative, supported by the Scottish Arts Council, revealing imaginative new projects conceived by artists specifically for the city during the Festival, including Le Drapeau Noir, a nightly performance in a pop-up café-bar; a one-night cabaret – Urlibido- in the magnificent Sloans Grand Ballroom, and a day long event sim-po-zium event at the Mitchell Library.
Other galleries, venues and artists’ collectives involved in the Festival include Transmission Gallery, Lowsalt, market Gallery, Mary Mary, FINN collective, and SWG3 and many more groups and individual artists.
To download a programme and for further information visit www.glasgowinternational.org. The festival opens on 16 April and continues until 3 May.
1. (c) David Shrigley Jugs and Cups (2008)
2. (c) Kate Davis and Faith Wilding What have we got to do with
3. (c) David Maljkovic, Out of Projection (2009)2 channel HD video installation.Duration: 18’41” min. Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam
4. (c) Linder Elsium ii (2006)
Aesthetica's April/May Issue Out Today
Exploring the creative zeitgeist, Aesthetica editorial is engaging and offers new perspectives on contemporary arts, looking at the arts in relation to the social, political and economic.
Issue 34 celebrates experimentation and the impact of the creative process. Through an exchange of ideas new definitions can be created, and an exploration of new possibilities takes place. Presenting a survey of these ideas, this issue engages with the wider social context.