Beatrice Colin suggests a selection of the festival highlights.
I Russian Painting of the Avant Garde Reﬂecting the collosal political changes in Russia. a comprehensive collection of painting from 1905 to 1925 by Malevich. Kandinsky, Larinov and many others. which plots the new experimental approach.
Russian Painting of the Avant Garde. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. until 5 Sept. [3 (£l.50).
I Pinocchio’s Present New paintings and collages by Steven Campbell in his ﬁst solo show for three years. Using himself and his family as subjects. he explores the themes of abandonment and memory.
Pinocchio Is Present. Talbot Rice Gallery. until I 1 Sept.
I The Waking Dream Exploring the early history of photography. this show includes dozens of photographic masterpieces including images by Man Ray and Lewis Carroll. As well as a whistle-top tour of recent history, the 250 works on show make stunning viewing.
The Waking Dream. City Art Centre. until 2 Oct. [3 (£1).
I The Line of Tradition An amazing collection of works on paper spanning 300 years. Almost too much to take in in one visit. this show includes watercolours. prints and drawings by a huge number of well-known artists. The Line of Tradition. Royal Scottish Academy. until 12 Sept. Free.
I llolbein and the Court of lienry VIII Sir Thomas More. Cardinal Fisher, and other members of the Tudor Court rendered in precise detail in pencil and paint.
Henry and the Court of Henry VIII. The National Gallery of Scotland. until 26 Sept.
I ‘ . “..\
l I X, A Game of Words and Pictures An i interesting and visually exciting
; collaboration between two
i photographers and eight writers to
5 create images and text.
! X . A Game of Words and Pictures. The
E French Institute. until / 7 Sept.
70 The List l3—l9 August I993
:— Battle Lines
Art from Sarajevo comes to Edinburgh. Beatrice Colin talks to Richard Demarco about the voices from a besieged city.
‘Vanessa Redgrave's on the phone. Where the hell is he‘?’ In a huge. cluttered expanse of abandoned classroom. a team of willing volunteers snatch at screeching phones. wrestle with a partly-working photocopier and try to get the Edinburgh impresario's European Art Foundation off the ground.
Richard Demarco has taken over St Mary‘s Primary School, where a colourful painted playground and a building full of stacked desks and coat hooks will be the backdrop to a vast programme of art and theatre from most countries in Europe.
And then he‘s back. a man of passionate. ﬁery—eyed energy and a compulsive conscience. Because. while other establishments squabble about who‘s in the ofﬁcial Festival programme and audience ﬁgures. Demarco‘s exhibition should make them all tum pink with shame. He is currently trying to obtain visas for eight artists from Sarajevo. whose exhibition Witness of Existence he intends to reconstruct in the partially covered playground.
‘l‘ve been going to Yugoslavia for 30 years and put on a show in l975 which featured Bosnians, Serbians.
Montenegrins and Macedonians. Even then i knew that the key city in the so- called Yugoslavian experience was Sarajevo. There was an amazing perfection of inter-cultural relations: Roman Catholic churches, Serbian orthodox churches. synagogues. and mosques. It was the dream of the future. a quintessential experience of what Europe could be at its best.‘
Sankin Jukic, Peter Waldegg and Mustafaf Skopljak and others were all respected international artists before the war broke out, and part of the city‘s once thriving cultural scene. Now the artists work in a ruined gallery which is continually bombarded by sniper ﬁre and used as a protective wall by fellow Sarajevans.
Their installations are profound. A pile of rubble is constructed into steps and called Stairway to Heaven and a wrecked car sits in a ruined hall. in another. painted faces lie behind glass to suggest an art grave as if. as the artist says. they are soldiers returned home from another war. in Ghetto Spectacle huge letters like those on the Hollywood hills, spell out Sarajevo in a grim acknowledgement of its being the
main stage to the global TV network. if Demarco can‘t get the artists visas. even though he has recruited Paddy Ashdown. he will project the images of the work. together with photographs of the artists, on to the walls of the playground. They each wear a thick black stocking over their head as if going to the gallows.
‘How can you have an Edinburgh Festival which is based on the premise that you celebrate peace when after nearly half a century war has broken out again.’ insists Demarco. ‘ ’e don't have a European dream of peace anymore. We should have cancelled this festival or everybody involved should walk around with a black arm band. Where do the battle lines extend to‘?’
As Sarajevo is surrounded and destroyed. a whole culture is also being lost. The importance of Demarco's initiative is evident.
Witness of Existence and other exhibitimzs are at St Mary s School. corner of York Lane and Albany Street from Sun [5 Aug—4 Sept.
_ Measure for
Etched texts of old accountant’s ledgers sink into the surfaces of Carlo Guarientl’s prints. Fading images of simple utensils and geometric volumes lie within those surfaces, patinated like antique drawings. Guarienti’s still-lites suggest the layering oi time, of different moments merging into one another. This is contained in his technique oi building images out of different layers of printing laid over one another, and the layering of historical styles employed in them. The works recall Renaissance perspective studies, Cubist still-life, the neo-CIassicai studies of Giorgio Severinl and Morandi and the mechanistic drawings
in a he
of Francis Picabia.
In a couple of prints vegetable forms are placed alongside the geometric forms, adding to a series of elements which reflect the passage from
organic nature into human mathematics.
Guarienti came to art through medicine. Whilst a medical student in 1940s Florence he began attending classes in anatomy drawing held by the Faculty of Medicine. The anatomy artist’s task of providing accurately rendered and measured descriptions of the body is carried over into these prints, as is something of the character of old anatomy drawings.
What Guarienti presents, however, is not the rigidly determined diagrams of a textbook but rather the sense of measurement - man’s assessment and control of natural form - worn away. The strive for accuracy and balance, in the account books and geometry, is blunted and tired out. Objects merge with their background and the text becomes obscured beneath the texture of spreading patina. (Simon Yuili)
Carlo Guarientl at the ltalian Institute until 30 September.