Glasgow: Tramway until Sat 25 Oct ****
Teiji Furuhashi's Lovers is a striking piece of video art. The artist, described as Japan’s enfant terrible, completed the work shortly before his death in 1995.
Housed in a large, free-standing black box, Lovers projects life-sized figures around the internal walls of the space. The four men and women walk, run and stand in the darkness naked. Golden skinned, their pixeled forms shimmer and glide silently through the space. They continually search before dissolving slowly back into the blackness.
Beamed from the centre of the space by a stack of video projectors capable of rotating through 360°, Furuhashi’s work plays with these ghost-like figures. Lighter than life, they pass through each other and rarely meet. But when two figures do come to rest
A still from Teiji Furuhashi's Lovers
together, one invariably hugs thin air while the other remains oblivious.
In this predominantly visual environment, Furuhashi offsets the organic human element with inorganic technology. The video equipment relentlessly buzzes, hisses and clicks — a continual reminder of the artificial nature of the experience. On each wall, a thin strip of purple neon emphasises the limits of the space and also perhaps the lover’s aspirations. Through hidden speakers, an ambient minimalist soundtrack plays.
Yet the scene is never comfortable. Figures loom and begin their fruitless search again. In this game, there is no end in sight, just continual movement and loss.
The end result: a truly memorable piece of work. (Paul Welsh)
Edinburgh: lnstitut Francais d'Ecosse until Fri 7 Nov it **
latitude and Longitude Resolved by Mark Dorrian aand Adrian Hawker
88 TIIEUST 10 Oct—23 Oct 1997
Reminiscent of a Heath Robinson contraption, Mark Dorrian and Adrian Hawker’s Latitude And Longitude Resolved is an intriguing invention. Pulleys criss-cross over a large wooden frame and sandbags hang as weights while a chair, cut in two, balances precariously. It didn’t resolve much to my mind but it was fun.
Houseworks — part of this year's Edinburgh festival of architecture and design, Manifesto — brings together installations by seven of the city’s architects. It is conceived around the theme of the Grand Tour — the visitor wanders in and out of various rooms unsure of 3 making a discovery or reaching a cul-de-sac.
In the Institut’s kitchen three naked mannequins sit at a table. Here you find yourself eavesdropping on travellers’ tales. Just outside the kitchen door, a women's plummy voice booms from nowhere: '00 come in. There is someone I would like you to meet.’ It is enough to intimidate the most enthusiastic dinner party guest.
But this being the Grand Tour, you can say your good-byes and travel on. Upstairs are paintings by Victoria Bernie. Deep blue and intense green, they are fresh air after too much post- prandial talk. (Susanna Beaumont)
I Manifesto runs from Fri lO—Sun 26
Oct. See Art listings for details.
Edinburgh: Portfolio Gallery until 8 Nov *inr
Culture clash and the difficulties of understanding diverse dialogues are Roger Palmer's concerns. In this new collection of photographs and one pencil drawing - of the 1839 Bengal Merchant, which shipped the first Scottish settlers to New Zealand — he effectiver challenges our ways of seeing.
Clicking away in Scotland, South Africa and Newfoundland, Palmer has captured landmarks: signs caught in the rain through scratched windscreens, cemetery signs withered through time, and mirrors that reflect a roadway.
Although the human spirit is alive and well in Palmer’s work, just off and behind camera, there is not an individual to be seen. Yet, the community’s history is ingrained in the frame. Most notably in Cox’s Cove where South Africa's apartheid is alluded to in a cemetery sign. Decayed through wear and tear, it forms the shape of a zebra’s black and white coat. The zebra under apartheid would have been ’classified’ as a white animal with black stripes.
The initial obscurity of some of the images forces the viewer to look hard. They will find a wealth of history and a few powerful moments. (Brian Donaldson)
Lark Harbour. 1997
Fly 2 Glasgow: Fly until Sun 19 Oct at *
A visit to Glasgow's Dennistoun can be a challenge. In Fly 2, only Jamie Burroughs and Calum Stirling survive the experience intact. Deirdre McCloskey, Anne Elliot and Ronnie Heeps have all seen better days.
Burroughs' sculpture Tree — a tree made from cardboard and wood-finish wallpaper — would look great in The Wizard Of 02. At 8ft tall, with its fairy-tale proportions and lo-tech finish, it immediately appears strange and funny. Take the piece further, and thoughts turn to over-processing of resources, packaging gone out of control and ’real’ versus 'artificial' nature.
Wafting its way through the branches is Stirling's sound piece, A Street of Two Sides. The CD brings sounds from the outside neighbourhood in to the gallery, via four vibrantly coloured speakers. If that was all there was of Fly 2, it would be an intriguing exhibition.
But no. Anne Elliot's photograph 'Keep America Beautiful’ isn't a patch on her piece from last year, Tripping. Deirdre McCloskey's video stills are pretty ordinary while Ronnie Heeps's oil-painting ’The Moment of Self-Realisation' is well executed but trite. (Paul Welsh)
Edinburgh: Habitat until Wed 12 Nov ink **
You have probably heard of astronaut Neil Armstrong but what about spaceman Charles ’Pete Conrad'? Apparently he was an 'irrepressible little test pilot’ who took off into the stratosphere in 1965.
Andrew Grassie’s eighteen portraits of human space invaders are strangely bewitching. They sport cheesy grins, many looking like high school geeks who have only just grown-up. The subjects are a mix of Americans and Soviets and there are two blonde haired women. On the whole they look a rum bunch.
This bizarreness is added to with their brief biographies served up in the catalogue. For example space man Robert Laurel Crippen, we are told, wrote the very successful book The Conquest Of Weightlessness in 1976, while Franklin Story Musgrove was a school drop-out who went on to take enough degrees for half a dozen careers. Others have settled in Middle America with kids and no doubt an estate wagon and a barbecue on the patio.
Grassie freely admits he is intrigued by space travellers. He surfs the Internet gleaning information on their home life and paints their portraits from old photographs he hunts down in space manuals. Interestingly Tom Hanks, who starred in the film,Apo//o 73, has bought a number of the portraits. (Susanna Beaumont)
Spaceman James Arthur Lovell