Rose Frain and Kjell Torriset at the 369 Gallery. Edinburgh.


French dressing

Lorna J. Waite looks at the complementary work of Rose Frain and Kjell Torriset.

The last Festival Exhibition on the top floor space of the 369 is given an extremely satisfying conclusion with the showing of the latest work by the artists Rose Frain and Kjell Torriset. Although the exhibition is not a collaboration. the works are complementary.

Rose Frain‘s visual language is influenced by her intellectual commitment to French feminist thought. Within her work. femininity, power, pleasure and desire are fluid. unstable categories which must remain open to new forms of questioning and contradiction that oppose the colonisation of the female body in patriarchal society.

The oil painting ‘Message (How To Make It Stick)’ resonates with complex rhythms and pulsates with life. Hues of red and pink become symbolic of the body and psyche. For women. red is the colour ofblood. of menstruation, reproduction, that part of identity which is g cyclical, women’s time. Frain’s marks are simultaneously violent and hurt. painful and compassionate. Colour stains the canvas like a wound in which red is a metaphor for emotional abuse. a violation of the body and its boundaries.

‘Intercept I, II and III‘ and ‘Interdict‘ use a different medium to explore tensions and ambiguities within these ideas. Each work is a photocopy onto etching paper of a photocopy of a photograph of part of a performance by the artists Hazel Terry and Torquil Anderson.

Blind etchings. stark, black and constant, like an endless possibility which is never certain. are juxtaposed beside these eroticized images which

' our desires. We have to understand that with our

a. ; ,y, .

Detail from Message (M

aking it Stick) by Rose Frain are partly concealed and protected by carefully positioned fragments ofthin. fragile muslin. Erotic potential becomes an unknown. something to strive endlessly towards.

Michel Foucault in an interview in Edinburgh Review comments ‘Sexuality is something that we ourselves create it is our own creation. and much more than the discovery ofa secret side of

desires. through our desires. go new forms of relationships. new forms of love. new forms of creation.‘ Frain‘s work investigates this creation within heterosexual relationships in which a confrontation with power remains.

Kjell Torriset's large wall hangings ofblack. silver and purple silk. drape the walls of the

. gallery like sensuous altarpieces upon which a

central image is impressed. like a memory trace. The Images stop the freeflow of the material with

_ their presence. sense impressions seem caught in ' time. The ‘House OfIIearing‘ has two

(iaudiesque church steeples. silvery and magical. beside the central image ofa bell. "The Silent Point’ has a solitary child clasping her hands over

her ears.

Scottish common sense philosophy stresses the

l interrelationships of the senses. Just as we can

touch the organ ofour visual perception the eye * 'l'orriset's child can freeze sound from her

immediate perception yet still see the silence of

the church and the bell which disrupts this with its ritualistic tones. Sensory connections are woven

in space and time. Kjell 'I'orriset captures this in a

beautiful almost sacred flow ofcolour and texture.

A Rose Ham and Kjell Torriset. 36‘) (Jul/cry, until 3

5(7) 1.


Fra-Yu-Kult (Fraction oi Yugoslavian Culture) is one of the most curious and rewarding maniiestations at Eastern European avant-garde art to be seen in the UK for many years. Unlike its iellow Communist states, Tito’s Yugoslavia was never a prison to its citizens: travel and the iree exchange oi ldeas- it not easy- were always possible. Nevertheless, the system's rigidities- not to mention the hypocrisy which

pretended equality-were certainly enough to alienate the creative; the artists whose work have been included in Fra-Yu-Kult are, to a greater or lesser extent, all making work imbued with an anarchic spirit. Fra-Yu-Kult is the brainchild of the Sarajevo-based installation artist, Jadran Adamovic. While restoring icons in a Franciscan monastery oi Siroki Brijeg in Serbia, Adamovlc saw the potential for an avant-garde museum in the new gallery in which the brothers were planning to house their historical collection. Surprisingly, the

Franciscans were enthusiastic about the idea and at the end of July an extremely well-appointed gallery adjoining the monastery was opened, amidst much rejoicing in this staunchly Catholic area. Indeed, the context is as extraordinary as the work itself. Although the Siroki Brijeg monastery is within the borders of Serbia, the area is dominated by a population with its ethnic roots and loyalties in the neighbouring Republic oi Croatia where, at this moment, rampant nationalism has been unleashed by elections held in April. The majority

I view the Belgrade-based Federal

. government as a foreign and now

irrelevant lorce. Fra-Yu-Kult, however, includes artists from the length and

i breadth of Yugoslavia and is very much

I a conciliatory exercise on the part of

l the monks. Best known in the west is

a the work of the Slovenian cooperative,

l Irwin, who juxtapose line-art images

-’ with political symbols. But there is also the distinguished older sculptor, Ivan

l Kosaric, and Rasa Todosijevic, whose

" work evinces an ironic, truculent contempt tor the pomposity of line art

i traditions. (Andrew Gibbon Williams)

The list 3i August l3Scptcmbcr199055