The Glasgow International Chronicles: Part I

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The Glasgow International Chronicles: Part I

This glorious visual arts festival occupies the entirety of the city, populating established art institutions to much smaller independent spaces. This is the seventh iteration of the festival that is open from 8th – 25th April 2016.

I was unable to spend as much time as I would have wished to properly devour and get a full taste of this contemporary art extravaganza. I think you need to devote at least a full day (if not two).

First I want to begin with the things I wish I had had chance to see, so that if you are going, you can see them for me: (If not you can just google them and look, and lament alongside me.)

  • Clara Ursitti – New Work. In various locations around the city until 23rd April 2016. She will be releasing different smells within the streets of Glasgow.
  • Birthe Jorgensen and Tawona Sithole – Bitter-Rose. On until 24th April 2016. This is a nomadic installation that moves thorough the city by foot. The show functions as an impromptu platform for discussion.
  • Nicolas Party – Mezzotint. Until 29th May. These prints and paintings begin with familiar objects and exaggerates their presence. Something that seemed worth a peek.

But what did I actually go and see? I was fortunate enough to pack a variety of sights into my very short stay including exhibits and a play (sort of) at the following places:

  • The Citizen Theatre
  • Centre for Contemporary Arts
  • The Common Guild

Each place and artwork on display deserves its own post, so that is what shall be happening!

However, I do have space to mention the two smaller independent spaces I went to during my time in Glasgow. Both exhibitions. And both specifically on for the tight duration of the 18 days of the festival.

  • What? Concrete That Makes Us (Exhibition)
  • Who? André Komatsu
  • Where? Civic Room, Glasgow
  • When? Until Tuesday 26th April. Closed Mondays. Open from 12pm – 5pm.

I went there for one reason and one reason only. The tantalising photograph in your free Glasgow International guide that is available throughout the city.

(That and this is its first showing publicly since its exhibition in São Paulo in 2008. I’m a sucker for anything limited.)

The piece in question I want to focus on is called: Disseminação Concreta, made in 2006 out of gravel and clothes.

Having almost no context to base my thoughts on this piece, it just came from a gut reaction. Which in my eyes suits what it is you are seeing. Essentially, it is a stone person. Clothes and shoes have been placed and stuffed to resemble perhaps the most familiar shape recognisable to us: a human. The construction of the space means that as you circle the piece you are looking over what feels like a dead human being. It’s a strange feeling as your brain understands that this is made of rocks, not flesh, but it’s disconcerting silhouette says something else. It becomes unnerving, and yet at the same time peaceful. I wish I had had more time to stare but I had to scoot out. For fear of being late. (I was late.)

Last but not least:

  • What? The Vegetable Store (Exhibition)
  • Who? Erica Eyres and Garnet McMulloch
  • Where? Fireworks Studio
  • When? Until Monday 25th April. Open daily, Mon – Sat, 11am – 5.30pm and Sun, 12pm – 5pm.

This little display at Fireworks Studio was manned by a man and a dog when I appeared. News on the grape vine is that many fruits and vegetables had to be bought as subjects for these clay creations. The collection has fruits and vegetables in perfect aesthetic condition, with other produce appearing mouldy and last their sell-by date. (Garnished with little flies to boot.)

In all, I would recommend a visit to both of these exhibits in the programme. I would advise picking a few of them to make a crawl out of it.

Stay tuned for the remaining parts to this excellently titled series.

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