TRANSMISSION GALLERY FEATURE
viewer-friendly, the Transmission is never boring; whatever is inside those four walls at any particular moment is bound to be fresh, surprising and occasionally noisy. ‘The important thing about the Transmission.’ pointed out Billy Clarke, one of the former committee members, ‘is that it has liberated a lot of people’s imagination through a process of unlearning.’
Nil-Smell, a show which celebrates a decade with work by new talent opens at The Transmission on Tue 14 Dec. The Transmission Gallery — Ten Years of Living Dan gerously is on The Late Show on Mon 6 Dec at I I . I 5pm.
The List spoke to ﬁve artists who have been involved with the Transmission over the last ten years.
‘l WAS on the committee at the Transmission from May ’88 to December ’89 and have also exhibited there twice. Before that i had been
painting figurative portraits and l studied painting and drawing at art school, but around this time there was a shift in my work towards using photography. The new committee who were co-opted in ’89 were ex-environmental art students and had a very different perspective and education. There were still proposals from figurative painters so the discussions around these proposals were interesting and critical. l began asking myselfa lot ofquestions about my work which I had been unhappy about for some time.
So I think that Transmission and the contacts 1 made there encouraged me to make this change in direction. It introduced purpose, focus, ideas and direction at time when I felt isolated and redundant on the dole. The work is still ﬁgurative but I think the medium of photography allows a distance that painting didn’t and therefore the ideas are cleaner and more directional.’
Skin sample from a cosmetic counter by Kirsty Ogg
‘l BECAME a member of the committee last month. My work is concerned with the way women are represented in the media. The use of images from advertising for beauty products. among other things, blur the lines that exist between what has been referred to high art and
I want to look at the extreme affects that idolisation and fetishisation have on other women.
Being a committee member is a really good opportunity for people to do things, try things out. get out there, organise and curate shows and feel that you can. Each person brings their own influences, styles and work and introduces new, fresh artists whom they think are
interesting. it’s a really important space as it shows ideas-based art. and in a city where young people never get a chance to show that kind of work, it’s the first rung on the ladder of a career.’
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lite Grows Harder (detail) by lien Currie
‘l WAS a founder member in 1983 when I was actually still at art school. At that time there was a new spirit and sense of purpose among the artistic community and it was a very useful platform. There were lots of individuals doing all sorts of different kinds of work and there was a great plurality of styles. We wanted to become real artists and stay in Glasgow and that, then. was a fairly radical view because lots of artists moved out of Glasgow to rural retreats. Then I was making mostly figurative work and then I became interested in lilmmaking which didn’t lend itself to a gallery context and so i left.
Now the Transmission does tend to have a house style — Anglo-conceptualism. I hate it. But now there does seem to be a distinct community of artists, although it seems to have shelved one of the original aims; to be politically engaged. Hopefully this will change?
‘l STUDIED printed textiles at art school and finished in ’86. I got involved with Transmission the year after and it was a whole new education finding out what was happening there. At that time the work on show was a lot more raw and it was very stimulating to see all these wild things like performance and film and video work. There was a whole lot of cliche’d stuff like broken light bulbs and disembodied dolls but a lot of interesting things as well. It was almost like art school all over again and it left you with the thought, “I think I’ll try that."
l went on to work with community groups and ended up working with film and video. I have now made six films, including an
animation for First Reels, Chemicals and llluminants. I like working with camera trickery and creating non-linear narrative films which I want people to see in unusual situations like a vision.’
Untitled (detail) by Gillian Steel
Gordon by bouglas Gordon
‘1 FIRST had contact with the gallery in ’87 when Craig Richardson and l staged a durational performance of four hours there. I went to London after art school but moved back up to Glasgow after two years because there was more opportunity to gain some real experience through the Transmission. 1 got involved around the end of ’9 1.
Then, it was less well-financed and it was quite a headache trying to juggle being on the dole with working nine hours a day, six days a week. I had very little time to make any work, but the big bonus was that you were kept mentally agile, assessing what people were doing and why. Not having a studio and working in a gallery meant that much of my work was situation suitable as I knew what i ! wanted to do if I had the chance and had a lot ; of ideas. 1 still have a big affection for Transmission as it is the most important gallery in Scotland for my generation. ‘
The List 3— l6 December l993 9