Glasgow: Transmission Gallery Sat 24—Sat 31 May. Edinburgh: Collective Gallery Sat 31 May—Sat 21 Jun.
Sign up with a dating agency and you are likely to be asked if you prefer clubs over pubs, or if you are a shy type that enjoys dinner a deux. No mention will be made of pheromones. The ’scratch and sniff’ approach is fine for dogs on the pull but is definitely not the stuff of the human mating game.
Clara Ursitti thinks differently. The Canadian-born, Glasgow-based artist has a long held fascination with smells and pheromones, the chemical substances we secrete, that can, many scientists believe, trigger attraction. Teaming up with Dr George Dodd, an lnverness- based smell expert, Ursitti has created an olfactory dating agency,Pheromone Link. Members will be paired up on smell compatibility rather than a mutual love of outdoor activities. The show at the Collective is for Ursitti the ’business pre-launch’ of her dating agency. She has even secured funding from the Wellpark Enterprise Centre to conduct further research and plans to open up a smell library. ’Smell definitely plays a role in attraction,’ says Ursitti. ’I am quite confident that research will show this, it has just been neglected.’
She believes smell is the fallen angel of the senses: 'lt’s a taboo associated with sexuality and body odour.’ Walk into any branch of The Body Shop and you understand what Ursitti means. Natural body odour is the great cover-up story of this age. Why smell au naturelle when you can throw on a concoction of peach and blueberry?
At Edinburgh’s Transmission, Ursitti is tackling the taboo head-on. The sugar-sweet American starlet Judy Garland may have sung about bluebirds over the
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Attached house: Richard Murphy’s extension to a Morningside house
Whiff and sniff: Clara Ursitti with Dr George Dodd in the smell lab
rainbow in The Wizard Of 02 but in her later years, what was happening underarm was deemed a more unsavoury reality. Years of drug-abuse and stress gave Garland a ’problem'. In The Smell Of Fear, Part 1: Judy Garland, Ursitti presents an olfactory portrait of Garland, while downstairs in the gallery, videos show Garland in performance.
Ursitti recently created her own Self Portrait: Scalp at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre. It was part of an on-going series of smell self-portraits, in which a small fan emitted the sebaceous-tinged smell of her scalp. ’I hope to challenge the historical concept of the self-portrait being something strictly visual,’ says Ursitti. (Susanna Beaumont)
architecture award, the Stirling Prize, for his conversion of an Edinburgh mews. Murphy was also behind the refurbishment of Edinburgh's Friiitmarket Gallery and is currently designing Dundee's new CiVic Arts Centre.
Murphy admits working in Edinburgh is in itself, a challenge. The city’s more vociferous resident associations are often keen to put the boot into any architectural schemes outwith the Georgian or the Scottish baronial styles. ‘People can be terrified of change, but if there isn't change Edinburgh Will become a museum,’ says Murphy. ’It must look to the international circun.’
Transformlng architectural (onsmxatisrii, and possibly Architecture oust the Laura Ashley brigade from Edinburgh: Matthew Architecture NEIL???Dwain)“;) ,i f R .h .d GalleryWed 21 May—Sat ldlun. I V is, 'H [M ,0 H m Murphy Arthiretts, a l.|(]l‘.-[)l0fll0 Richard Murphy doesn't beat about the Edinbui'qli-baserl :aiiipaiiy. England's
bush or the urban equivalent, the concrete Jungle, Paraphrasmg Lubetkin, the RuSSian-born architect, Murphy announces that ’Britain Will never get a modern architecture until it stops being nostalgic' The Edinburgh-based architect is optimistic, however. New Labour could herald an end to
architectural riit les have been iriuttering about l/luipliy and the press have announced hiiii as one to watch north of the border Murphy proclaims that it is not because he is a ‘media tart', but more a knack of 'doiiir; small things beautifiilly' Last year his practice was shortlisted for Britain's top
Murphy iiixtaposes the old With the new in his work. ’There’s too much fake history,’ he says. 'Why limit yourself and add a Victorian style extension to a Victorian building?’ Take the Holiday Inn on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile which masquerades as an old—style Scottish burlding. lf Murphy had been involved, it would have been a very different story, ’The Royal Mile should be a parade ground of Scottish architecture, the best architecture of every era,’ he says. (Susanna Beaumont)
preview ART Artbeat
Murmurs, musings and goings-on in the art world.
GLASGOW’S SUBTERRANEAN GALLERY Java has reopened after taking time off for ’interior upgrading’. The make-over also includes a slight change in name. It has been rechristened Java Espace. adding a definite touch of the Continental to the venue. And appropriately for an ’espace’ attached to an Internet cafe, its first show Soup (why not consommé?) is accompanied by the quote, ’Art is no longer regarded as being in opposition to technology as we approach the millennium.’
AS RUMOURS CIRCULATE that Glasgow is relocating its George Square equestrian statues, Edinburgh is investing in more. Apparently there are eleven equestrian statues of various royals and military types dotted about Edinburgh. The latest addition is arguably more egalitarian. Horse, Rider, Eagle by sculptor Eoghan Bridge at Silvermills, shows a naked barebacked male rider clutching onto the talons of an eagle. The common man, albeit nude, rides again.
THE SlDE-EFFEUS of Glasgow City Council’s economy drive are being felt. The Mr Happy logo that graced countless cultural campaigns is being dropped. The annual royalty fee of £28,000 to its creator Roger Hargreaves is deemed an unnecessary expense. But that's not stopping artists having a quick dig. Frank Boyle's drawing, Glasgow’s Miles Bitter, currently on show at 18 King Street, shows a grumpy Mr Happy in a bit of a bust-up with one of his green blobby brothers. It is subtitled Mr Happy Has Gone But Mr Bigot is Still Here.
THE BOOKART PRIZE has just been announced. Illustrators and photographers are invited to submit a cover design for any title published by Black Swan. Authors include Kate Atkinson, Armistead Maupin and Isabel Allende. The winner will receive E1000 and be commissioned to design a cover for a forthcoming Black Swan title. The closing date is 31 July. For further details contact the BookArt Prize (/0 Sophie Birula, Studio Administrator, Transworld Publishers Ltd, 61-63 Uxbridge Road, London W5 SSA.
Horse show: detail from Eoghan Bridge's Horse, Rider and Eagle
16—29 May i997 TllE usm