Glasgow: 18 King Street Fri l3—Sat 28 Mar.
For most men, aggression is a given. Deep down, somewhere near the core of every Tom, Dick and Harry violence lurks. It goes without saying. And yes, it is probably natural and fine. But unlike men, women who show aggression remain a pathological phenomenon, an aberration. lust consider the recent fuss surrounding professional boxing and the 'fairer' sex.
In Strike Home, seven women artists give this discrepancy a good battering. In the high-stakes world of sexual politics, this exhibition- cum-performance aims to be the most entertaining Glasgow mélée since the introduction of the poll tax. A themed punch, thrown in the direction of obscure conceptualism and low-impact images.
'Female aggression is under-publicised,‘ argues show co-ordinator, lseult Timmermans. 'Women are naturally It would be healthier,
Home, home on the deranged: still from a digital animation by Lindsay Perth
particular beHeves the gallery.
Performance artist Tara Babel does not suffer from this shortcoming. entertainment, she will be making two appearances at
Timmermans, if aggression, normally controlled and repressed, was expressed.
In the case of Timmermans, this includes what she describes as 'the satisfaction of hurling a plate across the room and hitting your target.’ If people were honest, smashing crockery would certainly figure in the majority of domestic outbursts. But the pursuit of self- expression does not have to stop in the kitchen.
'In many ways, Strike Home is a reaction to a lot of conceptual art, which I do not personally find meaningful, interesting or entertaining,’ says Timmermans. ’There are different levels of subtlety in the work but it’s unfashionable to be political. Now artists usually cloak meaning and do not address issues
Meanwhile, Ann Vance is showing a video installation of a woman lying on the floor. She takes shallow repetitive breaths and is seemingly dissolving in and out of the carpet. Is she hovering on the edge of some erotic ‘explosion?’
Gillian Steel's film work features female arsonists; while Linzi Perth has created an interactive electronic piece, Home On Deranged; and Anne Elliot shows large- scale photographic work.
But one question remains. Why are people - especially women — so aggression-repressed?
'Everyone hides,‘ believes Timmermans, 'but occasionally they venture out on an attack.’ This month
we should take care on King Street. (Paul Welsh)
Pigeon-fancier: birds set to feature in Echo
80 THE lIST 20 Feb-S Mar 1998
Edinburgh: Church Steeple, 119 Constitution Street, Leith, Sat 7 Mar, 6—9.30pm.
Pigeons might be dubbed flying rats, but currently the winged vermin are finding attention, if not popularity, from Britain’s artists. Britpack artist Abigail Lane has created a video of one wing-flapping, grey bird; while Glasgow's Nathan Coley recently made a slide-show of pigeon lofts. Now Edinburgh-based artists Noel Cowan and Sophie Allen are preparing to let the curious into their Leith workshop to see pigeons in their home environment.
We got respect for them' says Noel Cowan. 'They are able to adapt to an environment completely.’ It was last autumn that Allen and Cowan set up their workshop in an old church in Leith and discovered the resident pigeons. It prompted the pair — who both graduated last year from Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen - to consider ways of going public with their co-habitors. A proposal was drawn up, and the Scottish Arts Council came up with a grant of £530.
Money in pocket, Allen and Cowan put their plans into action. Echo is about revealing histOry - as Allen says, 'how a building changes its uses.’ Once dedicated to Christian worship, the church is now filled with workshops and is, it seems, a popular pigeon hang-out.
In what amounts to a guided tour, visitors will enter a small, wooden, arched door. Climbing a narrow spiral staircase, they will witness evidence of the building's history. Allen and Cowan have brushed away a section of wall to reveal layers of paint and decoration.
Then comes the slightly Hitchcockian
encounter with pigeons. 'A small door has been covered with sandblasted glass with a view-hole,’ explains Cowan. It looks onto a room layered with pigeon shit. This is where the pigeons congregate, and a video will be set up to relay their daily lifestyle. A bird-fancier's dream and an art experience wrapped into one. (Susanna Beaumont) I Photographs of Echo will be included in Sale Or Return at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Thu
IZ—Wed 25 Mar.
Eavesdropping from behind the installation.
RUMOURS HAVE IT that Absolut Vodka - the drink that has lubricated numerous art show openings over recent months - is set to sponsor a Scottish Open this autumn at Inverleith House, in Edinburgh's Botanic Garden. The drink company is clearly fond of art and over the years has commissioned Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Scotland's own Gary Ruff to immortalise the Absolut bottle. The Open will be bottle- free, however. Artists will be invited to submit work to a panel of judges for selection.
FESTIVAL OF ARCHITECTURE and design Glasgow 1999 has just announced the appointment of two designers, Ron Arad and Caruso St John. Famed as the designer of stylish furniture, Arad is to design Winning, an exhibition looking at design and sport, while Caruso St John, a young architectural practice which recently won the job of designing a new gallery in Walsall, is to design Vertigo, an exhibition looking at buildings for tomorrow.
MEANWHILE IN A RECENT lecture given by Glasgow 1999, artist Bruce McLean came clean about the source of his inspiration. Cheese. Apparently he is a big lover of the diary product and it looks as if Glasgow's Argyle Street could become one great big pretend cheese board. McLean is currently working on a scheme to zap up the street's image. So could it include giant replicas of Gorgonzola and Lanark Blue and will there be an olfactory experience of a cheesy whiff?
IN SITU AT EDINBURGH'S Talbot Rice Gallery, which involves six artists making work both inside and outside the gallery space, is to be accompanied by an open forum on Friday 13 March at 2pm. Speakers include curator Elizabeth Ogilvie, Edinburgh College Of Art tutor Andrew Patrizio, journalist Sacha Craddock and Charles Esche of Scotland’s Modern Institute.
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:7 l A lot of bottle: Andy Warhol's Absolut bottle