The price is right for art collection

Till receipts are to be displayed as art by a man who hopes to create the world's most expensive installation.

Glasgow born artist Richard Yee aims to fill a wall at Edinburgh‘s Assembly Rooms with tens of thousands ofshop receipts in a bid to catalogue patterns of consumption in the city.

He is appealing to local people to send collections of receipts in to the venue to help him out. ‘It is a kind of documentary. the aim is to document a couple of months in Edinburgh.’ says Yee. who has just graduated in fine art from Edinburgh University and the College of Art.

He argues receipts tell hidden stories: ‘A friend who works in a pub was asked by a woman one day “do you remember this blond guy who came in yesterday?“ She turned out to have found one of the pubs receipts in his jacket. He had been cheating on her.

‘She's now started divorce proceedings.‘ Yee relates. although he admits such tales aren‘t usually obvious from a grubby scrap oftill roll. ‘You can‘t tell the story. I'll just leave it to people's imagination.‘

Once the receipts are gathered. he will tot up their value. ‘I want to calculate the total amount spent it might be the most expensive work of art ever!‘

Yee has been responsible for other unusual installations. most notably a college project on abusive names. He collected hundreds and displayed them on a memorial-style wall.

It led indirectly to his current project. ‘l was giving out badges. and someone from the Assembly Rooms was so taken with his ‘anal retentive' badge that he called me up. and I got the show.‘ Yee explains.

A spokeswoman for the Assembly Rooms said the exhibition was part of the venue's Assembly Li ve.’ programme: ‘We always invite four students from Edinburgh College of Art to do installations. but we have had hundreds of responses to Richard's mail-shot. The receipts are piling up.’ It isn‘t just the public who are taken with the idea. ‘All the staff come in and put their receipts in a box every moming.‘ she added. (Stephen Naysmith)

Scotsman keeps the faith, despite Neil move

Scotsman statt have given a guarded welcome to the appointment of lormer Sunday Times editor Andrew Heil as editor in chiet at European Press Holdings.

The group owns The Scotland on Sunday and Edinburgh Evening News as well as The Scotsman. The mood in the ottices ot the three newspapers is one of qualitied optimism.

As well as excitement at the arrival at a man who is a big name in journalism, there is a teeling that changes at the titles are tinally underway.

last week European Press Holdings announced a planning application tor new premises in Edinburgh - a move tor the three newspapers has been mooted tor many years, but never realised.

The company is in the process ot rebuilding itself, according to deputy

editor of The Scotsman Alan Taylor.

‘The company was run down by its previous owners, stripped back to the bare minimum,’ he said, claiming readers would notice ditterences in The Scotsman due to Hell’s arrival.

‘We already have plans lor several signiticant changes within the next tew months and some will be down to ideas Andrew Neil teeds into the paper’

Anxieties have been raised about Heil’s political views: he is known to be an opponent of devolution, while The Scotsman has a pro-devolution policy.

Neil himself has not commented on the divergence ot views, but did refer to the importance of the issue. ‘I am particularly excited to be involved with three Edinburgh-based newspapers at a time when Scottish allairs look likely to be moving to the

centre at the national debate,’ he said.

‘I look torward to working closely with all the editors to develop their excellent newspapers into even stronger publications than they already are,’ he added.

Taylor said Heil’s background and experience would be a boost to the paper’s coverage, regardless ot his politics: ‘Andrew Neil is an individual with his own point at view, but the paper’s direction is very clear. We are not political, but we support the creation of Scottish parliament within the union. The owners accept that when they bought the paper, and Andrew Neil accepted that by becoming editor in chiet.’

He insisted The Scotsman’s stance on devolution would not change. ‘We have been a devolutionary newspaper tor 100 years. We don’t ll-turn.’ (Stephen Naysmith)

Bill Posters will no longer be prosecuted

The illegal art of llyposting may soon receive official approval in Edinburgh. but only under strict guidelines.

The city council are examining a scheme which would restrict the adverts. widely used to promote live music and arts events. to official sites throughout the city. A single agent would be granted an exclusive licence to display the posters.

Dublin and Leeds have already successfully controlled fly-posting by constructing specially designed boards and hoardings and in Paris posters can be displayed on purpose-built columns.

Edinburgh currently spends £54000 per year removing fly-posters. Many parts of the city. including conservation areas. are often covered in unauthorised posters and the council admit they lack the resources to deal with the problem.

Robert Cairns. chairman of the planning committee. is cautiously optimistic about the results of legalisation in Leeds and Dublin: ‘You have to remember Edinburgh is a very different city.‘ he said. ‘We are now

e0nsidering public reaction to any change.‘

Originally presented to the council in April. the proposal has been put forward by a company called ()utside Advertising. lt clainrs legalisation would bring order and limit the number of sites. while still giving space to cultural events. at manageable prices. It also promises an end to torn and defaced posters littering the city.

Myles Cooney has been putting lly posters up illegally in Scotland for twenty years. He agrees with the proposal. ‘The time has come for fiy- posting to step out of the shadows. We want a partnership with the city to clean the streets and promote the arts.‘

Paradoxically. he claims. council funds often go towards the posters in the first place. ‘The council pays subsidies to the arts which go towards putting posters up. while another department pays for steanring them down. it is a ridiculous waste of money.’ he explained.

Edinburgh Festival Theatre has its

Bill posters: stepping out at the shadows own column for posters outside the building but says it needs more sites. Marketing officer Fiona Duff explained: ‘Our posters attract the floating or irregular customer who may not normally go to the theatre or read our brochures.’ (Nick Morgan)

History pupils should do more home work

Schoolchildren as young as live could be taught Scottish history alter a group of leading educationalists called for a revolution in the teaching of key events in Scotland’s past.

Their call comes amid tears that the ‘Hollywooding’ ot Scottish history is presenting a talse picture. A report to be published next month, commissioned by the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum (SCCC), looks at how Scottish history could be better taught in schools.

The review group, led by Dr Chris Whatley, head of Scottish History at Dundee University, examined how pupils in the 5-14 age range are taught history.

llr Whatley said there was a ‘Scottish historical deticit’ within the education system: ‘We would like to ensure

children have a clear picture of how Scotland’s past tits into the wider world picture.’

He claims many teachers are not well enough acquainted with Scottish history to enable them to teach the subject: ‘Topics like appeasement or the Russian Revolution are widely taught because that is what the teachers themselves were taught and are comtortable with,’ he said.

‘Dur hope is that in tuture children will experience a more systematic approach to Scotland’s past, without tocusing only on glamorous topics like Robert the Bruce or Mary llueen of Scots.’

Dr Richard Finlay, director at the research centre in Scottish history at Strathclyde University said the SCCC initiative was badly needed: ‘It is depressing when a Scottish nineteen-

year-old in their second year at university has as much knowledge of their own history as a German or American student.

‘Scottish school children are to a large extent being denied access to their history by the education system, an access which in other countries is a tundamental human right.’

. A Scottish Ottice spokesperson claimed that the current curriculum already provided Scottish pupils with ‘the opportunity to study a wide range ot Scottish historical topics at ditterent levels.’

However, Alex Salmond, leader ot the SHP, welcomed the report. ‘There is widespread dismay that many of our children go through school knowing little about Scotland’s rich culture and heritage,’ he commented. (lindsay McCarvie)

4 The List l-l4 Nov l996