Fiona Byrne-Sutton takes a peek at Glasgow‘s Edge 90 exhibition.


A walk on the edge

Spread across Glasgow, unexpected locations and ground-breaking visual art are the trademarks of Edge 90. Fiona Byrne-Sutton reveals what may be expected.

From 1—10 June artists from throughout Europe and the States will move into Cowcaddens, Glasgow, as part of Edge 90, the second bienniale of innovative visual art in Britain to take art out of the galleries and into unexpected locations in the community. Local people are able to meet the artists and poke around familiar buildings whose history and architecture have become sources of interpretation and imagination on a scale not seen before.

The first festival, Edge 88, was initiated by Rob LeFrenais of Performance magazine as a kick against British parochialism. This year the rolling festival opened in Newcastle in May. After Glasgow it will move to London and then Rotterdam, while in 1992 the four-city bienniale will go truly European, Glasgow being one possible location in a grouping including Madrid, Antwerp, Moscow, Newcastle, and London.

The Dundas Vale Teachers Centre , courtesy of Design Practice Architects who own it, comprises three separate buildings and an open space. Cornelia Parker, recently seen in the British Art Show, will cover a building with a chalk drawing of itself so it becomes its own ghost, a reading which will fade with time as the rain weathers it.

American apiarist and performance artist Mark Thomson will take over the Bell Tower, filling windows with bricks made from beeswax. In the centre of the space, buckfast bees will come and go from a glass hive while the bricks fill the tower with a smell of honey and a warm and soothing amber light. A third meditative work will be the performance ‘Boat Emptying, Stream Entering’ by Yugoslavian Marina Abramovic who has recently walked the entire length of The Great Wall of China. Referring to Chinese mythology where an uncoiling snake in the belly is a sign of the passions, five pythons (one for each of the five senses) will be placed on the artist’s head. These will then slowly respond to the warmth of her body and move out along the energy lines of the human torso. The snakes will be discouraged from entering the audience space by a ring of ice.

In a different vein, seven artists from all over

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Amertcan aplarist and performance artist Mark Thomson

Europe, Boris Neislony (Germany). Jurgen Fritz (Switzerland). Norbert Klassen (Germany), Thomas Ruller (Czechoslovakia). Jacques van Poppel (Netherlands), Roi Vaaraa (Finland) and Zbigniew Warpechowski (Poland), will come together to create a collaborative performance at the preview on Saturday 2 June, while the Australian Bill Henson will fill a building with large colour photos of Australian night-life which could be from anywhere in the West. A mood is created in their juxtaposition with the site and the objective is to obtain a direct response from the audience rather than address specific issues. Edge 90 follows on from Site/Positions, a two-week outdoor project where Glaswegian and other artists challenged the sanitised apolitical culture and image ofGlasgow promoted bv the District and Regional Councils. Organised bv the Glasgow group Event/Space, this move outdoors reflects the more interesting. challenging work

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being made in Scotland and is part ot a Wider interventionist approach circumventing the control exercised by galleries and the market. The pioneering organisation in Britain has been the Artangel Trust. and in Glasgow a new generation of artists is coming out of Glasgow School ofArt‘s Department of Environmental Art. This Autumn TSWA will bring more site-specific work to Glasgow. It is worth noting that the Scottish Arts Council's New Projects Arts Panel which funded Site/Positions and Reclaim the City has been dissolved and brought into the Exhibitions Panel because so many applications were received. Exciting developments are afoot and Edge 90 should not be missed. (Fiona Byrne-Sutton)

Edge 90 will run I —l () J une at Dundas Vale Teachers" Centre. next to ( 'owr‘addens Underground Station. Marina A bramovic is at the Third Eye Centre on Monday 4 June at 80m.

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