The magical and the miraculous take over at the CCA’s cross-media Phenomenal season. Paul Welsh, in an altered state of consciousness, discovers some strange goings on behind the doors of the Glasgow gallery.
How strange can you get. doll?. . . Just how weird are you bud? . . . Not exactly Kelvinbridge, more New York. but hearing my invisible companion helps to sum up Phenomenal, forthcoming at CCA. Considering the programme for the venue's cross- media bonanza, Wee Eek Marlowe's presence is welcome — real or not.
First though. both of us can‘t help wondering. Did Trixie really see a ﬂying saucer or was it a ﬂying hub-cap? What is the nature of reality? Has anyone else met a fairy in the garden? Seen a ghost? Conjured rabbits out of a hat? Dreamed things? You know what i mean . . . experienced miracles? So many questions and hopefully Phenomenal's main researcher. Frank McKee. can give Eek a straight answer. What ya sayin’ Frank?
2 of ‘unbeiievable' photographs. Evidence. simply
grieving rituals could ﬁsh up something challenging.
. ofthese, Professors Archie Roy of Glasgow
University. astronomer and psychic researcher. and
. Sergio della Sala, crusading sceptic. should
i independently wrestle over the ground where science
It’s magic all the way: conjuring tricks from Fay Presto i
‘The season covers a whole spectrum of material.’ he explains. ‘including the paranormal. We have incorporated UFOs, alternative lifestyle and new-age thinking as well. Phenomenal explores the potential of the world, and tries to get away from the scientiﬁc approach which dominates the West. It offers some different ideas. With faith and belief. anything is possible.’
Phenomenal has - dare we say it — phenomenal sc0pe. with contributions from artists. scientists, inventors, psychologists and Josephine Public. all packed into ﬁve weeks of mind-bending, blowing, bull-dozing activity. Alliteration aside. there is lots
innovative approach to old and new material.
Grennan and Sperandio’s 3-D computer manipulated images of the supernatural are derived from ﬁrst-hand testimony and aptly named All Round Awesome. They sound cool. The deﬁnitive exhibition
familiar and funny. Of the performances, Athey and Steger's plunge into shamanism. psychic surgery and
A series ofcomplementary talks involves many. but
and the unexplained ﬁrmly collide. Add the magic of a OFT ﬁlm season or a coach trip to Bonnybridge — the inter-galactic equivalent of Heathrow — and we are talking variety. Still buddy. are we supposed to believe all this stuff?
‘The material cannot be judged on scientiﬁc terms.’ Frank reﬂects. ‘When people say truth. they are talking about scientiﬁc veracity — the need for physical proof, in whatever form. But many people believe. regardless. and that is important. When science cannot prove or disprove something. it leaves room for imagination and mythology to blossom. People feel there is more beyond what they can see, and it would be awful ifthere was no place left for that to happen. That’s a comforting thought.‘
Unsubstantiated claims are also regularly made for exhibitions and events. but from early indications Phenomenal could wipe the ﬂoor with its diverse and
Wearing the tactile feedback clothing could be creepy.
The Phenomenal season is at C CA, Glasgow, 51113 F ebruury—Sun 10 March. See Art listings for details of individual events.
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The List 26 Jan-8 Feb 1996 57