ART & EXHIBITIONS LIST
David Mach’s strange new sculpture (below), plus South Africa’s Bitter Harvest (page 60). LISTINGS: GLASGOW 57 EDINBURGH 59 MUSEUMS 65
Ewan MacArthur prepares to recycle his old copies of The List as he heads down to the new David Mach show.
David Mach‘s new work for the Tramway will be poised between spectacle and sculpture. comprising not only the final solid forms (amassed from smaller units -— in this case
magazines). but also the process ofconstruction itselfwhich is open to the public and is expected to last until around 31 March. Thus, the work will be more than simply the finished result which will depend on the public choices and actions undertaken by Mach and his helpers throughout the period of building. The element of spectacle — the gradual revelation ofthe work, with its theatrical implications — is particularly appropriate to the Tramway and, in that respect, is similar to Andy Goldsworthy‘s ‘Snowballs in Summer‘ seen there last year. But whereas Goldsworthy‘s work was about nature and natural processes. Mach appears to be concerned with culture and the fantasy of ‘eternal values‘. Mach‘s reputation since leaving art school in Dundee in 1979 has grown around his talent for engaging a range ofcultural meanings embodied in forms constructed (or extrapolated. sometimes contradictorily) from unexpected and very often discarded materials, for example bottles, tyres and more recently, magazines. The distinctive character of his works, their similarity despite the variety of materials, results from Mach‘s capacity to start a dialogue between the materials and their meanings. His directorial skills re-orientate them towards new mythological implications.
His most recent British installation, at Nicola Jacobs, London, was ‘Fuel for the Fire‘, in which symbols of conspicuous consumption and status — large glossy ceramic Dalmatian dogs — appeared to be swept along on a tidal wave of magazines. ‘Here to Stay‘ at the Tramway, though made only from magazines, seems to inhabit something of the same territory.
Mach and his helpers will build twelve ‘Doric’ columns of magazines, using the existing pillars of the building as armatures. The interleaving of the variegated colours of the magazines resembles tapestry, weaving or even knitting: an
,.«~\’f:;"""‘ ' - ..~ symbols and constituent parts. by their promotion ofgods and ‘Iifestyles‘ frantically renewed each day.
Millions of magazines are produced, far in excess ofeven the appetites they engender. Some are recycled, most are not. Such overproduction is the tangible symptom of the fantasy of continuous growth with its attendant, but obscured, waste and destruction. Mach’s ironic usage is underscored by the reference of the pillars to another myth, that of the eternal values of Classical culture as reinvented by the Renaissance. These supposedly stable or even
Mach‘s objective is to get to the heart of contemporary myths (ofpower, production, status) with an apparent case. which in his best works can‘t be mistaken for mere
acknowledgement ofcraft and a visual contradiction of the function of the pillars. But what holds up the ‘house’ is not the material pillars, but human appetites — new desires and false needs of which the magazines are both
permanent values are implicated and undermined by the same ﬂow of transient appetite. (Ewan MacArthur)
David Mach ’3 Here To Stay, at the Tramway Theatre, Glasgow, 5 Mar—29 Apr.
I OEMARCO STRIPS With money always tight in the art world. is it any surprise that galleries rent premises out to all and sundrylor various shindigs? On 17 February a group oi Edinburgh University students hired the Oemarco Gallery to stage the annual
Oddball. Harry Tyser, Oddball organiser, said the lee was in the region oi £600. with tickets at £20 each despite the sponsorship irom Oddblns. He admitted It Ieatured not only a band and a disco. but iemale strippers (‘I was told they would be tastetul') and ‘an attractive lady' handing out iree tequila slammers. Lindsay Gordon oi the SAC said he could only comment on the ‘artlstic content' oia
56 The List 23 February — 8 March 1990
revenue-receiving gallery. I NEW BEGINNINGS? Last year's rumblings ot discontent among Third Eye Centre stall (can an exhibitions co-ordlnator co-ordlnate while researching the British Art Show?) have increased. Can a director run such a centre and eastern European arts Iestivals at the same time? Vincent's
inionner says that an
lCA-style putsch is unlikely,
but that things must come to a head soon.
I EDINBURGH SYMPOSIUM Final year students at Edinburgh College oi Art want to kick some llte Into the place. They've organised a symposium on gender and art tor Saturday 3 March, with papers and workshops by male and iemale artists and writers. Further intormation: Karen (“7 0920) and Andrea (553
I FOUNDATION COURSE Leith School oi Art run the only art Ioundation course in Scotland. This intensive one-year course attracts a good number oi mature students as well as school leayers. The'next course starts in October. Enquiries should be made now to Charlotte Cheverton, 031 554 5761.
I SCOTTISH CRAFTS With the demise oi the SOA and
the HIOB in 1991, no organisation will have responsibility tor the craits. Should the SAC do the job? Should there be a separate Scottish Craits Council? Meetings tor all interested people have been organised throughout Scotland. including MacRobert Centre. Sat 3, 2-4; Third Eye, Wed 7. 7-9pm; Netherbow, Fri 9 7-9pm. Contact Eric Robinson. 031 228 2885.