School’s Gut

Cluster Part B is the second part of a group show selected from four Scottish art colleges.

Robin Baillie takes a look

and finds fun where he least expected to.

The second half of the Collective Gallery exhibition featuring th work of a selection of young artists from Scottish art colleges. takes offthe shades and drops the cool. The arctic i wastes of designer fortnalisrn are at this very moment being won back for living l organisms.

In (711st I’m! If the street re—enters the gallery. Nowhere else is this more apparent than in the work of Robert lyiontgomery. \y’lroserllrrert' illurkcr piece is pasted onto the gallery window. From the pavement outside. the oneline of text scribbled onto a sheet of paper is unintelligible. To read it. you mtrst be on the “inside.” By I entering the galley. the “art-wank‘ of its ; script transforms itself into the payoff 1 line. . . “intelligentsia' By forcing the viewer into an active. self-questioning position. :‘vlontgomery challenges notions of how an is made. exhibited. seen and most ofall. how it is defined by critics and academic theorists. “lt’s a joke for those who are laughing.‘ says Montgomery. linough said.

Paul MacDonald cranks up his text- rnachine and watches it go. lt does all i

Star Gazing

Charles Piazzi Smyth was a bit of a renaissance man. Apart from being Astronomer Royal for Scotland and Regius Professor of Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh from 1846 to 1888 he was also an explorer, artist and author. The exhibition at the Stills Gallery is a testimony to his innovative work in the art of photography and shows that above all, he was an extraordinary observer of the world. 3 The show includes his pioneering ll experiments with stereo photography. l

the things the bourgeois novel does opens up themes. synchronises events and narrates but its structured teeth grind away at the meat. the rnoralising and the meaning. The ideological kickback never comes and anarchic possibility emerges from the void. ()n the w all it looks like a Boulez manuscript in its ordered chaos. Yet still it offers rip the pleasure of legibility and glimpses anew the communal possibilities of language.

These young artists force the lifeblood of engagement and

5 debate back into the white box

of the gallery space.

Another Post-Modern chcsnut. lzlwrlrlv. is harried relentlessly in Shauna - ivchtrllan‘s incision of a decorative lace shamrock pattern into ten slices of white bread. This national emblem

f This is when two photographs are ; taken of the same thing at the same

time. When the images are placed side by side and viewed through lenses, the

picture becomes a single 30 image.

Piazzi’s stereo photographs from his journeys to Tenerife, Russia and Egypt will be displayed so that people can look through the viewers and see for

themselves. As well as being an interesting historical record his stereo , ' photographs have a peculiar 2 fascination like a hologram or a Magic i i Eye picture. ; Piazzi’s expedition to Tenerite, where

he built a research station at Alta Vista at a height of 10,702 feet, was the first example of high altitude astronomy. His photographic record of

Stereo vlslon: when these pictures are vlewed through lenses, they become

a single 30 image

Plastic People: Twenty-five Males-Slippery Customers by John Beagles

eventually becomes like coral in its

repetition and its support but ultimately.

the bread disintegrates. This piece holds its metaphor well. positing the potentially oppressive nattrrc of struggles for identity as they become obsessive. In a struggle for the symbol the freedom ofthe living individual is compromised. ln .lolrn Beagles'.

'l‘rr'r’rrlyfifrr'c .lIu/cs-S/r/t/u'rjv (Yrs/mums. plastic toys proffer their demands on placards like peaceful demonstrators at a rally.

These young artists force the lifeblood ofengagernent and debate back into the white box of the gallery space. Many of them see it as one of the few remaining arenas where rrreaning may be still be contested. It looks as if Generation X are subverting nicely on the walls of Edinburgh's Collective Gallery.

Cluster Part I} is a! The Collective

f (la/[cry l9 - 29 April

Edlnburgh through the lenses of Charles Plant Smyth

first person to realise the importance of photography as a means of pictorial evidence and scientific documentation as opposed to sketching, which he deemed unreliable because artists were prone to embellish or edit the image.

One of the results of the expedition was a book illustrated with stereo photographs, Tenerife: An Astronomer’s Experiment. Each copy came with a stereo viewer. The book was a huge success and a kind of forerunner to the pop-up books we

have today. Photographs as records of -

events are something we take for granted every time we pick up a newspaper, but a century ago publishing a photograph was still a very experimental process. Piani’s

- -. a '= -- '2 4 The Rypochondriac: Joyce Gaims’s distinctive

work can be seen at Roger Rillcliffe Fine Art, Glasgow until 26 April



Prints of the City 18803 - 1990

l 1 February - 13 April Mon - Sat 9.30 - 5.00 ;

ADMISSION FREE 0141 330 5431

Extended public access supported with funds from Glasgow City Council

photographs of the streets of Russia in 1859 show a spontaneity that is thoroughly modern.

Towards the end of his life, Piazzi photographed a large series of cloud formations. Unlike most of the photographs in the show, which are reprints because the originals are too delicate to display, the cloud pictures are original prints. Although Piazzi took them mainly for meteorological reasons they are also beautiful images and his handwritten captions underneath the prints are quite poetic and evocative of the experiences that rapidly changing clouds suggested to him. (Gill Roth)

observations, The Photographs of Charles Piazzi Smyth is at Stills Gallery, Edinburgh until 27th May.

The List 21 Apr-4 May I995 65