Collective Gallery, Edinburgh

To be defined or not to be defined. That is the argument raging among performance artists right now. Do they write out their history and philosophy as a code of practice or do they actively pursue areas of artistic activity which break the rules, cross the boundaries and take other such routes of departure in their creation? Can they do both?

Nick Stewart, an artist from Belfast well-versed and experienced in performance and installation work sympathises with the need for a clear philosophical background, but warns of its dangers. In America, he came across a university course called “Beginning Performance’ which by definition pulled the teeth from its subject. He warns against institutionalisation, which has the attraction of putting performance and installation into establishment, mainstream galleries and museums, but thereby risks the loss or weakening of original intention, at worst becoming simply a zany vehicle for publicity.

As ever, though, performance is full of contradiction and occasionally (as one of the Polish exhibitions illustrates beautifully at the Art Gallery), and Museum in Glasgow, an institution can throw up delicious paradox and layering of ideas. It is a case of exquisite timing and location that gives the installation there its punch.

Over the next six months the Collective Gallery has arranged for a numberof artists to appear in Edinburgh outside institutional confines, both physically and administratively. Five artists will be working for several days each in venues which range from a closed shop, a community hall, a furniture warehouse and local schools. As the Collective is artist-run, it should be possible forthe commissioned artists to have as much of a free hand as

possible, with the only bureaucratic hiccup being the necessary backing of the Scottish Arts Council.

Nick Stewart is in Edinburgh this month as the first artist in Dutside/lnsite, a playful title for a project which is neither festival nor season, but simply gives an opportunity to tap into new funds made available this year by the Scottish Arts Council for performance, installation and site-specific work. The gallery were successful in their proposal and are among the first to receive money from the £10,000 a year fund with a total of £2500 to mount the work of five artists.

Nick Stewart‘s piece ARK, a word with multiple meanings, is being made in Cranston Hall in the High Street. In recent years much of his work has included performance, notably Pilgrim, which took him onto the streets as well as into galleries. Based on his observations of tramps and vagrants, Stewart created an archetypal image in grey, soaked in ash and cement and wearing ‘a post apocalypse rucksack' which sprouted its own strange free. When performing Pilgrim, he fascinated the

audience simply by gazing on life, tree or beetle, existing in the cityscape. ‘l saw tramps looking up and down— most people in the city look horizontally’. Was he for real, or performing, passers-by asked. Some offered shelter and food. Communication was immediate. With ARK it is up to a mute garden shed and its contents to speak.

Paul Burwell, drummerfrom Bow Gamelan, makes December sound and music month. It looks likely that the Washhouse at the Gateway will be the venue for his one night performance. Then, in January, Janus Scerek will be taking video art into schools. Using tape and slide, Dennis Dracup will furnish an old warehouse in Blacktriars Streetwith ‘Ritual', while in March, the final project in Outside/Insite brings David Griffiths' ‘Child’ to a school in Edinburgh. Here is a project which goes straight to the heart of the matter, daring to deal as it does with the effects of the institutionalisation of children. As an area of research with sensitive implications, it has the potential for being an illuminating experience for teachers and pupils alike .

(Alice Bain)

Glasgow Photography Group Talks This

- group ofphotographers. .set up last year. have organised a series of winter talks which begins on 17 Nov 7.30pm with Alan Crumlish on taking photographs of Scottish Ballet. Free. Performance Space I enter via 34o Sauchichall Street. A former member of Kolo Klipsa (a group currently showiiigat (ilasgow Arts ( ’entrcl Krtik's sculptural backyards. rubbish and crumbling concrete. Iiveryday tension. WDTItSl'IDpS 'I'hc sttidio workshops have reopened in their new premises and are now available Ior artisis‘ use. Membership application forms are available from the above address. I GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART Renficld Street. 332 9797. Mon—'I‘hursUam -9pm; Fri 9am—6pm; Sat 9.30am rnoon. Mackintosh Gallery Polish Realities Exhibitions Leon Tarasewicz and Tomasz Ciecierski t.‘ mil 3 Dec. Tarasewicz lives in a village in the north of Poland. close to the Russian border. These paintings have been inspired by his environment. ('iccierski‘s smaller paintings join together to make a larger work to investigate our understanding of the landscape. weather and animal life. Newbery Gallery Polish Realities Exhibitions t mil 3 Dec. Anna Beller's painted realism studies the

relationship of people and object from unusual angles. Miroslaw Balka's installation Rivercapttires a figure between death and sury iy al.

I GOETHE-INSTITUT 3 Park (’irciis. 333 2555.

Talk—Avantgarde and Social Awareness— The Example of Joseph Beuys 12 Nov . 3pm. Free. A talk by Prof l'IilII/nltHICIIIIII Versphol with a panel discussion afterwards with art historian Norman Rosentlial. artist ( ieorge \Vy Ilie and gallery director Richard [)emarco.

I HAGGS CASTLE lllll St Andrews l)rive. Mon- Sat lllam SpiiizSuiiZ 5pm. Glasgow's museum for children. Desperate Journey This exhibition has been postponed until further notice w liilc renovation work is carried out iii the

I HARBINGERS 4 I 7' ( ircat Western Road. 3399999. Mon-~Sat lliam bpm.

Radio Waves I ‘ntil 3t) Nov . Very unusual radios by ( ilasgow designer Alastair Macdonald who also teaches at ( ilasgow School of Art.

I HUNTERIAN ART GALLERY lfniy ersin of (ilasgow. 83 Ilillliead Street. 33II543I. Mon-I‘ri 9.3llam 5pm; Sat 9.3liam lpiii. From McTaggart to Eardley l9 .‘s‘m 15 April. A winter showing of the gallery 's collection of Scottish w atcrcoloiii's including work by (ilasgow Boysand Scottish ('olotirists.

The Mackintosh House Gallery: ()pen as above btit closed for lunch 12.30 1.30pm. Slip admission on weekday afternoonsand Saturdays. A reconstruction oftlie architect‘s home fitted with original furniture.

Mackintosh Cabinet Design 19 Nov until 15 April. l-‘rom simple stained pieces made in the mid- IS9lls to elaborately decorated white cabinets. this exhibition oftw enty designs provides a representative stirs ey of Mackitilosh's work in this field.

Scottish Society for Art History 25 a 2i» Nov.

A two day conference on the interaction of

Scotland and Italy.

I HUNTERIAN MUSEUM 'I‘he Ifnivcrsity of (ilasgow'. 339 8855. Mon—Fri

9.30am 5pl11152i1‘).3(lam- 1pm. 'l‘wicc named Museum of the Year.

Coracle, Kayak and Canoe Iixtended until 3 Dec. Iixamplesof very early watercraft from a buoyant but pre-steam. unengineered age.

I IMAGES GALLERY 74 llyndland Road. 334 531]. Mon~~l’ri9.3llam— 5.30pm. No exhibition at present but general stock includes lSth and 19th century Japanese woodblock prints and 19th and leth century etchings. watercolours and oils. I INTEROEC GALLERY Mary liilI Burgh Ilall. 34 (iairbraid Road. 9465912 General exhibition of gallery artists Paintings by local artists and Kenyan embroidery are on show here.

IJOHN GREEN FINE ART 203 Bath Street. 231 bliZS. Mon-Fri lllam—Spm; Sat lllam— I pm.

l9th cfi 20th century continental oilsand w'atercolotirs.

I LILLIE ART GALLERY Station Road. Miliigavie. 950 3351. 'I'iie—I-‘ri [lam-5pm and 7—9pm; Sat and Stiii 3-5pm. (‘Iosed Mondays.

Glasgow Society of Women Artists 12—20 Nov. The annual exhibition olthis long-established group.

I MCLELLAN GALLERIES Rose Street. Mon—Sat lti3tlaiii-bpin; Sun Spin—5pm. Cancer Reliel Exhibition 2! 25 Nov. ()y er (will paintings. sculptures and ceramics priced from E I 5 to m er {llillfl w ill be sold in aid ol (’ancer Relief. ('offee is served. I MAIN FINE ART'I'he Studio (iallei‘y. lo (iibson Street. 334 SSSS. 'I'tic Sat Illam~5pm.

The opening of the Mains' new gallery at 34 is now imminent. 'l‘he cream-coloured gallery . cony erted from an old Victorian chemist‘s shop is looking quite beautiful and will be a welcome addition to the West Iind. \Vatclil'l‘lit- 1.1.x! for the official opening date.

I EWAN MUNOY FINE ART 43 West ( ieorge Street. 33] 24W». Mon Sat

9.30am --5.3flpin.

J.D. Fergusson tiniil 12 Nov . An exhibition of paintings. w aiei coloui'sand drawings by the Scottish coloiirist.

I MUSEUM OF TRANSPORT ls'ely in l lall llintranee from Bunhoiise Road w itli parkingfacilities) Mon Sat Ill 5pm;Sun 2—5pm.

Design Council's Schools Design Prize Scotland 1988 l'ntil 7 Dec. Aw ard-w inning designs.

I SOS GALLERY 13 ()tago Street. 339 3 l 58. Mon—Sat Illam bpm.

Carole Moore tiniil 30 .‘s‘m. New paintings by a young (ilasgow School of Art graduate.

I PAISLEY MUSEUM l Iiin Street. 889 315l . Mon~Sal lllam 5pm.

Patchwork and Quilting t‘niil 2b Nov. The work of five local groups who just can't stop stitching.

I PEOPLE'S PALACE MUSEUM (ilasgow (ireen. 5540223. Mon— Sat ltlam» 5pm; Sun I 5pm. (ilasgow's museumof working life. Now in its 90th year. the museum is currently undergoing essential repairs and refurbishment which will continue throughout most of next year. Stained Glass Gallery Permanent galleryof secular and religious stained glass which acknowledges ( ilasgow ‘s impressiy c history in the field.

I POLLUK HOUSE lebll l’olloksliiiws Road. (630274. Mon-Sat 10am 5pm. Sun 1-5pm. Neighbour to the Buirell ('ollection. this 18th century house contains the Stirling Maxwell ( ~ollection of Spanish paintings and period furnishings.

I SPRINGBURN MUSEUM Ay r Street (adjacent to Springburn Railway Station). 557 1405. Mon-Fri lll.3llam-~5pm. Sun 2—5pni

A Place to Slay I.'iitil Mar 89. One oftlie largest exhibitions ever mounted on the subject of housing in Scotland. The exhibition traces the transformation of Springburn from a small y illage and industrial suburb where property was privately owned. to today ‘s town dominated by council tow er blocks. home for SI)"; of the residents.

I THIRD EYE CENTRE 350 Satichiehall Street. 332 752 l . Tue-Sat mam-5.30pm. Stiii 2 5.3(lpm.

Third Eye (‘cntre has been central totlie organising and mounting of the Polish Realities season which runs throughout (ilasgow during November. [Exhibitions in galleries around the city have been selected by the centre's director (‘hris (‘arrell and exhibitionsorganiser Andrew Nairne. 'I‘hird Iiye itselfis devotingall gallery space this month to Poland.

Polish Realities Exhibitions

Edward Dwurnikt.'niil31)ec. (iallery l.

48 The List ll 34 November 1988