Nathan Coley

Stirling: The Changing Room until Sat 24 Oct a a


Territorial rights and public rights of way. Freedom to roam and exclusion zones. Nathan Coley’s new work interrogates how authority lords it over the open space

On the walls hang eight screen- printed text pieces. Taken from actual statements that were once issued as verbal edicts in town squares, they are

tough words not to be toyed With: ’No access beyond this pomt without possession' or 'families should leave this town . . .' Some phrases jump out at you, such as 'transported for life’. Thoughts turn to mass deportation. How the powers that were once dispensed not just With troublesome individuals but whole townships. lnterspersed among the text panels are photographs. The concourse of a railway station; a stretch of countryside; the courtyard of a tenament block; a swathe of urban housing. The tension is set. Images of very contemporary spaces sit cheek by jowl with out-dated edicts. But think on these spaces are still governed, be it drunks and the homeless moved on from railway concourses, or ramblers denied full access to the countrySide.

Coley, who is based in Glasgow, has long been interested in the how language operates and manipulates ideas of space and attitudes towards the everyday. In Corresporidences at Edinburgh's Gallery of Modern Art last year, Coley showed images of a Barrett-style show-home overlaid with a commentary describing a building by architect hero, Le Corbusier.

Here, by amassing what can be easily dismissed as 'historical' statements and contemporary images, he nudges y0ur thoughts to think about the powers that are undoubtably still at large (Susanna Beaumont)

Like A Shadow

Glasgow: Glasgow School Of Art until Fri 2 Oct tr >-

Death is the most brutal fact Of life, and One that is frequently swept under the carpet This exhibition presents death as an essential and life-affirming part Of our culture

Timed to coincide With the Fourth International Conference of Death, Dying and Disposal at Glasgow's Caledonian University, the paintings, photographs and Video/films create an atmosphere I." which death has not lost its sting, but its stigma

Art imitates life and death, and Andre Serrano's Untitled triptych of photographs is a good starting pomt Here the beauty of his aesthetic has as

John Bellany's Elegy

much impact as the fact that these images are of male ejaculations. Coming from a different direction are Robert Del Tredicl's documentary-style photographs of the nuclear industry They satisfy our voyeuristic tendencies and confront us With the fact that we kill. His Jars, Storage Of Pathological Atomic Bomb Materials, Nagasaki University Department Of Medicine iS the most awful and engaging work on show here.

The show also includes paintings by Ken Currie, Julie Roberts, John Bellany and Richard Wright, as well as screenings of Smith/Stewart's Mouth To Mouth, Bill Viola's The Passing and Alan Clarke's Elephant Beautifully arranged and executed, this show is a killer. (William Silk)

reviews ART

Frisson Glasgow: lntermedia Gallery until Sat 19 Sep we: are

In the front room of lntermedia, David Richardson's Vital paintings offer a view into a world of magical realism that is charged with veiled threats of violence and suggestions of pleasure. Surreal and sinister, the atmosphere is created with darkened streets and probing electric light. Where figures are present there is tension and intent, while their absence is conspicuous in works like Cold Touch.

In the back gallery, Susan Payne's sumptuous works on paper are intuitive reactions between repeated forms. Soft feminine curves and crevices dictate to vivid intruding spikes, such as the conch-like shapes of The Venus Trap. By hanging the work behind larger pieces of screwed perspex, the works are given space without a ’frame' and their colours intensified. That Fatal Kiss is a melting metaphor of sexual shapes and links back to David Richardsons’s Sex Thought Pattern. Shown together, both artists illuminate a little of what the other has to say both through their common ground and their differences‘ (William Silk)

Exist And Situate Glasgow: CCA until Sat 19 Sep vs at e

Gary Hill's Why Do Things Get In A Muddle

With Epilogue Carpark postponed to a later date due to unspeCified problems concerning CCA’s forthcoming redevelopment, Exist Arid Situate stepped into the breach. Curated by Michael MaZiere, the collection presents a Wide range of contemporary video work. Running over seven and a half hours and including Bill Viola's exceptional /Do Not Know What It ls lAm Like to be shown on the late Opening nights of Thursday and Friday there is much to see. Among the high points are Tony Hill’s Holding the Viewer and Peter Payer's Do It that features thirteen artists including Yoko Ono, Dave Stewart and Damien Hirst, With his short gUide to handgun suicide.

Gary Hill's Why Do Things Get In A Muddle (Come On Petunia) takes us on a weird backwards journey through the looking glass With Alice. Beautifully made, and full of innocent yet loaded questions, it serves as antidote to the intentionally bland feedback manipulations and channel-changing world of the Video void. Christian Boltanski's work, however, fails to hit the mark This exhibition suffers from the fact that some of the Videos, intended for monitors, simply don’t translate to the big SCreen and the sound is often poor. fi()\.'./("‘.”c‘r With a new Zwemmer bookshop Open for broWSing in CCA's foyer, there are other options open to the Video-restless Viewer. (William Silk)

Pax Romana

Edinburgh: City Art Centre until Sun 4 Oct at a a v

'Apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and public order . . what have the Romans given us?’ So runs a line from Monty Python's Life Of Brian, handily reproduced in Pax Romana.

The Romans certainly got around and left more than their toqas behind -- the recently discovered Cramond Lioness, for starters. This is the first public showmg of the limestone sculpture of a lion devouring some poor Roman chap. First spotted in the muddy sludge of the River Almond in 1997 by a ferryman who at first fancied he had found a garden ornament, the lioness is now heralded as one of the finest pieces of Roman art f0und in Scotland

The attendant blurbs one contemporary quote speaks unsurprisineg of the unpopularity of the territory fixated Romans - gives historical background, but the lion's share of interest Without doubt goes to the lioness. (Susanna Beauiriont)

10-24 Sep 1998 THE ll3T69