Swings and roundabouts
Glasgow‘s 'l‘ranm'ay is at the forefront when it eomes to showing contemporary art. hut the venue has also reeeivetl eritieisms for being too oil-heath. Paul Welsh on the hieeups ol‘ being thoroughly modern.
('harles list'he. enralor at (ilaxgltm \ 'l‘ratn‘n. a}. should he happ} hut he's not .'\\ one ol the ~.'tt§ \ major L'I'tHvlllL'tllJ \ennex. 'l'rain\\a_\ reeenth \ton the l’itnlential ,'\\\ill\l lor Visual \il\ .llltl tlnl) reeenetl the lltl_\ \tllll or £351"— l‘l, .~\pp.n'entl‘_» this :teeolatle \‘t‘IIIL‘x at a time ol' nn\etl lllL‘\\.l‘.'t"~_ henee the man's :tttgxl.
'( ii\ en the international plantlits 'l't';tt‘.t\‘..t_\ has l'L‘L'L‘lH'tl lll IWS.‘ l‘Selte \ll'e\\e\. ill I\ l;‘:tll.\ disappointing the Seotlixh ;\rt\ ( ‘otnietl ltax eltexett this )ear to eontpletel} textineture otn ltttttltnt.‘ ‘ ’l'lnx re\enue funding to ptoieet funding a haekxkarll step tor an} major arts organisation antl a tleeixton Iltek are enrrentl} appealing against,
“there is onl) one poxxihle interpretation 'lhe Seotttxlt .-\rt\ (‘onttetl sees li'annxa) as a failure. hut this prestigious anartl proxes e\erjmne else sees the \enue as a sue-eesx ’l‘he} are at Htltl\ \\ ith the text ol' the txot‘lt' and it \‘-Ullltl he llllel'exllltg‘ to axl. then: \\l’t} V \tt’\\ liu‘llL‘
ll. llll\ l\ the entatot \ opentng' \ethal ions! o! "o. 'l‘t'anma) '\ I'itst eontt'thnlion to ( ilaxgov. '\ \ear ol \tsnal .-\rt\ eoultl he teatl as an etluall} \llt‘ll‘..'
Ill\0l\L‘\ a pereeixetl tlU\‘. ngrathng in status tiotn eore I
statement attttetl .:l l uth l.tl‘.\ .nnl «lettaetet‘x alike
I llll\!l‘.j' three lll'. :lll\ I\ Item}. on nexxl} \‘t‘lLIltllwlt‘l1_'.l up! [‘1' e. nlex a _ I<'\\ \eetton ol entren' t:-';.tl\ l' .'*2;l.'il:}‘--l;llj. all,
funny Hw . .1 tztie yileanetl lrotn the ( ‘oeleztn litantx .t all :n. en tonnes ol' sail ‘.‘.llll the
i"~””.\ H Ito maple. of \otltet' Sam Santore antl
lll:,l.'l‘wl .‘a E .‘ .zii gunn'ate hj. (Elaxz'ouV lx'teltattl \l. 1‘. ll llaile'K ; \tt.et‘;t v are llttilltl} p nltlteal Illllili‘." :- inf'lthxlll the ll.l£1\rll\'l] lli‘llt ulle'el to z'allerx .!|;tl I; nn ‘.lt“~.‘.;'2 l~> \ hzeet .nnl .t\'\lll\'ll~.'.lll:\. Ill tl it e tlll\l\ ;-.::n to n.3,}..- \ tille‘llllltt' l“.'.rnltl'ttl hnt .in 1.1L; 112m \p-ztente f'nlhez
lantltn' 3:: 'll.‘ rltaesnt \t'll.; l loh't; !\ a .‘ ‘lleelton wt . "t ~ l“.~ ill." l'l;21\ ll:..t also well. .lx
: an tutetactt‘. e l2l\l;lll;lllt‘ll Menu .‘1\ seleet \\hat th‘."
'.x tielt ltlll lllx' l‘lklx‘liettllllLN Hllw‘l lllt‘ llllhlttll Hl'
.2..e\\ttt\t.1ntpiratilteattonapparentl} j‘totnhetl h} n.-'.=. teehnolog}. l’t'oleeletl onto a mall \l/L‘tl \ereen.
these \ltot'l olleitng'x run truth 3" \k'\'t‘lltl\ to three
: nunnlex .luxt \erateh ana} the t otnpntet graphic.
x'. lll;‘l1;?.' u: ltangtk l,lt/al‘eth liailet. the
Tranquility at Tramway: work bylsabeth BalltSaiiiiSamore and Richard Wright in Sugar Hiccup
press a ﬂashing ieon and see \\ hat happens.
the ﬁnal \\ot'l\’. h_\ (llasgtm Seltool ol' .-\t't leetttt‘er .lllll llaroltl. is .l/I/u'rti'ttm‘t'x. l)ealh masks ol linlightennient lllllllllill'lL‘\ .\‘e\t.ton. Burke. Marat and ('olernlge hat. e heen photographed. and placed helore \aponr ltlletl Illtl\\ L';l\C\. l\ there a dialogue hel\\eett thetn antl het\\een oni imaginations and their tnenior} ,’ ('ertainl} an interesting settlpttn'e to kaek oll an} tlehate. antl it" mission \lalettienls \~.eren‘l the [‘I'L'\L‘I\C ol' 1‘l'tl\\ eorporationx. the whole \eleetion eoultl he one for the \enne.
'l‘he l'oenx ol~ 'l‘ranm'a} l\ tu-ol'ohl‘ li\ehe asxertx', ‘l’n'xth. to eneonrage. ettllttttixxtotl and support artists Ill tln~ eountr} to make work ulneh the)‘ eonltl not llialxe All} \\ llel'L ele‘. SL‘L‘ttlttll}. lo l‘l'iltf.‘ the he“ international \\ot'l\ to the eit} so people ean nntlerxtantl \\ hat is happening in the art world. Artists are eotnnnttetl to finding tlillet‘ent \tilllllttlh antl .lilterent anxnerx to eoiitettipoi‘;ii'_\ questions. (iotl l\ll\l‘.\\. \\ e neetl thent.‘
_\'.'!e'tzt‘ Hitt'lrl‘. /i.'\t't.'.'.'.'\ um.’ .///I.' Hit/tn't/ on it.’
litilU‘du' (Edwin: 1!):le Sm: 3i .Ilt/I:
POLITICS OF ART t
Dynamic ; kicks
‘28 Positions in 34 years’, doesn’t that sound like the line from a Prince song 22 positions in a one-night stand? says Chila Kumari Burman, acknowledging the sexual allusion in the title of her current exhibition at , Street Level, ‘but I thought, yeah, why 3 not be really cheeky and really rude!’ i Burman’s pleasure in being outrageous and irreverent carries through into most of her work, an attitude not usually associated with ! so-called ‘political art’. But for Burman, the political and the personal T are inseparable. As an Indian woman, l
Kicking the stereotypes: Chila Kumari
born in Liverpool to working-class parents. she has a rich background of issues to address, from racial inequality to cultural perceptions of Asian women. In a recent BBC documentary, on show at Street Level, she jokes that our understanding of Asian women is shaped by tea bag and airline adverts, which propagate a stereotype of passivity and meekness. Burman argues, ‘we’re not what people think we are. . . we’re wild and
In most of her work, Burman’s way of
; fighting prejudice and addressing issues is positive and unsentimental. Chi/a '5 Dynamic Kick, a large photocopied photo of herself doing a
karate kick into the camera, is both powerful, sexy and tongue-in-cheek.
Her collaged copies of old pictures of
her family, her father’s ice-cream van and portraits of her mother are a celebration of her cultural background
‘ mixed with humour, nostalgia and respect. By drawing upon both Indian and British aspects of her background, she pays tribute to her own multiculturalism, fusing street culture and 705 retro patterns with exuberant Punjabi decoration. Unpretentiousness and compassion characterise Burman’s work of the last seventeen years. She chooses to use very basic materials, such as coloured photocopies, as they provide what she calls ‘a kind of democratic image’ which is rough, streetwise and infinitely reproducible. She is the principal subject in her work, many of her playful guises symbolic of issues which she fights for. Often labelled as radical, Burman’s attitude to her art is refreshingly accessible: ‘lt's really just about personal politics, general politics and life.‘ (Ianya Stephan) 28 Positions In 34 Years is at Street Level, Glasgow until Sat 9 Mar.
53 The List 23 Feb-7 Mar I996