French twisters

Home delivery pizzas and home videos feature in a show of French art. Susanna Beaumont briefly encounters three French artists.

There was a time when ()livier Zabat ate a lot of pizzas. He would ring through his order. ask for a home delivery and then wait with his camera. The results: not just pizzas. but ten life-size photographs of pizza delivery men.

These figures could have strayed off a visiting UFO. with their crash helmets and all-in-one biker outfits. Zabat's photographs show motionless. alien- like men in a blank white space. holding what could be a vital inter-galactic travellers pack. rather than a well-insulated pizza.

Zabat is interested in briefencounters of any kind. Be it with a pizza delivery man. a homeless person or someone cadging a cigarette on the street. 7.abat photographs the casual tneeting. A fleeting exchange between two strangers meeting in the twilight zone of social interaction is made eternal.

Pizza time: Olivier Zabat's 30 Minutes

Zabat is one of three French artists w hose work is on show at lit/('mtt'lusirc States at Edinburgh's Fruitmarket (iallery. There is no comtnon theme to the artists‘ work it ranges from the introspective through the intimate to the subtly political.

Pierrick Sorin could be described as a (iallic version of Mr Bean. l)aily domestic antics become humorous events when he videos himself. home-movie style. waking up in the morning or making music on a baguette. Let the humour settle and it all becomes a bit more poignant than a giggle. Sorin comes across as a joker who does a good cover-up job.

‘Behind the stupidity of daily life. there is the meaning of life and beyond. 'l‘o laugh is a way to

forget my human condition.' explains Sorin before declaring: "l‘hc human condition is more sad than happy. Perhaps I should believe in God. but I don‘t.‘ Sorin's videos successfully strike this tragicomedy chord. an existence tilled with the amusiugly banal. empty of everything aside front the trivial,

\Vhile glossy mags continue to fuel the cult ol~ the stick—insect girl model. Ariane Lopez—Huici. who works from New York and Paris. offers an alternative. ller series of eight black and white photographs. xll‘il'il ()fllmt/trt/lun. shows a naked woman striking vai'iotis archetypal model poses. Aviva is fat her flesh is dimpled. her breasts flag and her stomach sags. But she holds her own. there is something triumphant about her and she shows not a glimmer of shy ness about her wealth of flesh.

Lopez-lluici calls it ‘the beautiful nobility of size‘ but romanticising the subject overshadims the political. The photographs are a meeting of the classical nude. which is far from isolated from pornography. with the lat lady as a circus side show. The} are interesting for that reason. They tease so- called ideals but bargain with questionable conventions.

This tension becomes more pronounced when Loiiez—Huici’s video. lint/s is viewed. In a solo free- style dance piece. Lopez-lluici. in celebration of her 50th birthday. moves and sways naked for fifteen minutes. She's thin and petite. Lopez-lluici describes the work as the coming together of body and spirit. There are issues involved. however this work smacks of self-indulgence without asking or answering any questions. ln/( 'mic/usirc Slit/cs Is (1/ l/I(’ [rut/marker Gallery. I-fr/iu/mrelt llll/l/ 8 June.


Collective Gallery, Edinburgh until Sat 25 May.

Ask anyone about art and the battle of personal preference begins. The four artists exhibiting at the Collective want people to view their work free from the usual perspectives that can clog appreciation. They don’t preach obscure theories nor is a knowledge at art history required. As a result, their work should remain as accessible as personal taste allows.

Moyna Flannigan creates moody, haunting portraits with simple titles like First Son or Prize, where a young girl cowers in a strange ghostly light. With Bad Girl, Flannigan has the audacity to show the woman standing with her back to the viewer. These are images that hint at unhappiness not lay. lain Dickinson paints giant screens of sky blue where ribbed cloud-like forms float either in regimented formation or as a random flock. Pamela Anderson shouts out from John Ayschough’s canvas, Culture Series 3. It’s a verbal portrait, candy- coloured lettering that quotes Pam’s thoughts on having a baby. In Robert

Clouded vislon: Iain Dickinson’s skyscape

Wilson’s huge tried breakfast served up on a scarlet backdrop, taste in art is larger than life but hunger pangs are dwarfed.

This art won’t disturb and it doesn’t attempt a full-frontal attack on our senses. By representing a view of the world from a different angle, these artists have let in the possibility of a subtle change in our taste by the back door. (Paul Smith)

31 May.

point for the project.

public art.

lifilifii— 4’ SOURCING THE CLYDE

No. 1, Atlantic Guay, Glasgow, until Fri

Glasgow. People. Uniting. Trading. Callus. Clyde . . . only words, but powerful enough to convey any number of ideas. During April, collaborating artists Maurice Maguire and Kenny Munro acknowledged this tact and invited Claswegians to participate in a series of one-off installations. Called Sourcing The Clyde, these words were a starting

Using locations close to the river and its tributaries (including Springburn Park and Brock Burn in narnley), Maguire and Munro aimed to unite the city by developing a series of site- specific messages. Neon visions of selected words were combined with material generated in local community workshops. The result was a multi- layered, multi-dimensional example of

Tackling inner-city regeneration and environmental awareness at a practical level, Sourcing The Clyde culminates for Maytest with an exhibition. Viewed through the windows of No. 1 Atlantic Quay,

All shopped out: Maguire and Munro‘s Work

appropriately on the banks of the Clyde, there are found objects, neon signs placed in reclaimed shopping trolleys, photographs and text all of which exude a sense of humour, hope and resourcefulness.

Suggesting everything from escape to return, rivers have always been an emotive feature of the human landscape. Judging by the laughter and smiles in Maguires and Munro’s photographs, the project recaptured some of this magic. The uniqueness of time and place is easily lost in the midst of city life, but Sourcing The Clyde is having none of that. (Paul Welsh)

The List 17-30 May I996 71