The Died So That You Mig t Live Edinburgh: Collective Gallery Sat 14
Nov—Sat 12 Dec A death in the family changes
everything. All you have after life are photographs and memories: your own private intimation of mortality captured in a moment. It's an accident that the title of this new show from Dave Beech, David Burrows and Ako Sasao should tie in so neatly with Remembrance Sunday, though the show is actually a more personal commemoration of those who’ve fallen.
'We just thought it was about time things got a bit more serious,’ says Dave Beech. 'David and I had always been associated with stuff that’s been a bit nutty, and the most serious thing we could think of was to do a show about death. Not in that existential, Damien Hirst approach to death which achieves nothing, but something more direct.’
'We’ve tried to make things about death that we quite like,’ concurs Burrows. 'Things we can live with, I guess.’
To this end, there's a video installation of Beech doing karaoke to a song by dead icon John Lennon. The song is about Lennon’s mother, but Beech is here mourning
the death of his own mother. '
They Died 50 That You Might Live: Dave Burrows, Dave Beech and Mo Sasao respond to mortality
’Karaoke primal scream' is how Beech describes it. Another work shows a woman both happy and sad as she watches footage of her dead grandmother, while male bonding through violence is explored via people shooting each other with their fingers in gun-like formation. They then come back to life as one did in the boy’s own version of the game. ’lt’s not all documentary, though,’ Beech insists. ’The emotions are documentary, but the form isn't.’
It’s this emotional level that other, more rarefied art doesn't reach, that the trio are aiming for. 'In art you're supposed to be clever and aloof,’ explains a decidedly down-to-earth Beech. ’But we wanted to get away from
abstraction and address things head-on.’
Which brings us to the iconography of death. Burrows expresses an interest in the late pop artist, Andy Warhol, who painted what Burrows calls ’the living deadﬂ
You don’t think of Marilyn Monroe as being dead. because she’s always there,’ says Beech. ’In a way, you know superstars better than you know your family, so when Princess Di or whoever dies, it really affects everything. The whole thing about mourning and bereavement is more frightening than your own death,’ he concludes. 'Losing other people is far scarier than losing yourself.’ (Neil Cooper)
: Streetworks Glasgow: Street Level untrl Sat 14 Nov
People's Salem, January 1994 l by Ross Birrell
88 THE lIST 5 19 Nov 1998
Dependrng from whrch corner you're stepprng, the chref problem or success of perforrrrance art r.s rts very elusrveness as an art object Documentatron may provrde a record of an event, but rt rs sorely rrrelfecjtual rn conveyrng the surprrse, :urrosrty or anger that performance art can generate Streett'./<:-r‘r';s trres to wrestle. Wrth thrs not rncorrsrderable obstacle, rn rts survey of ten years of performance art rn Glasgow The exhrbrtron, part of a programme of performance and talks, arrrrs to represent thrs often margrnalrsed artrstrc practrce Whrle rt's obvrous‘ly drffrctrlt to evaluate the success or Impact of performances from photographs, some works stand out Tara Babel and Ross Brrrell are partrcularly rnterestrng, rn that, unlrke much work whrch rs just too self- conscrously arty or professronally radrcjal for rts own good, therr actrons
and rnventrons frequently hover on the border of belrevabrlrty
The clocomentatron of Babel's walk through town dressed rn her nrghtre rarsed some salrent questions about the numbing Of sensrbrlrtres that grows from a darly dret of apocalypse for breakfast Her socral rnvrsrbrlrty, as she precarrously perches by a rrver edge, rs tellrngly revealed rn the oblrvrorrsness ot’ bystanders Brrrell's l/‘r/orkrng Class Hero, a performance where he stood on a plrrrth motronless rn Glasgow's George Square, manages to be a humorous, complex and trmely remrnder to the polrtrcs of just who gets to be cc‘nnmemorated by our rllustr'rous‘ 'c rty fathers'
Other works by more establrs'hed artrsts', lrke the rnflrrentral Alastarr l/lac'lennan, ensure thrs rs an rnterestrng, rf ultrrnately second-hand trek through the recent hrstory of performance art rn Scotland. dohn Beagles)
Taking the wind out of the artworld
NEED AN ARCHITECT? As part of the nationwide Architecture Week, which runs 12-19 Nov, members of the designing profession will visit you in the comfort of your own home and answer those questions you have always wanted to ask. For £10 (a donation to Shelter Scotland) you can get the truth on the merits of extending your kitchen in the style of Le Corbusier or adding Grecian pilasters to the facade. Call 0131 229 7545 for details.
FOR THOSE WHO feel architecture has still to recover from the 605, the exhibition Ugly Buildings at Edinburgh’s RlAS should be just the ticket. As the magazine, Architects’ Journal recently noted, ’Estate agents and housebuilders refuse to use the term "architect-designed" in sales literature because buyers see it negatively'. Shame. The Guardian’s architecture editor, Jonathan Glancey, should however put everyone straight when he addresses the subject of 20th century architecture at Glasgow's Waterstone’s on Mon 16 Nov at 7pm (tickets £2/£1).
WE KNOW THEY are great artists, but what drives the likes of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin to temporarily turn their backs on formaldehyde and the sewing kit to take up singing? We Love You is a CD-cum- book in which the likes of Hirst and Emin — along with Marc Quinn, Chris Ofili and Sam Taylor-Wood — have joined forces with Brian Eno, Boy George and the Pet Shop Boys to make music. According to the journalist John O’Reilly in The Guardian, the artists feel at home with the music world’s sexiness, shock tactics and grubby commercialism.
WHO HAS WON the Richard Hough Bursary? The shortlisted artists for Scotland's biggest art award, which stands at £17,000, are Dalziel 8r Scullion, Wendy McMurdo, Roderick Buchanan, Alan Currall and Smith/Stewart. Hazard a guess and take your pick — the answer appears on page 27.
Going For A Song: Tracey Emin in Monument Valley contemplates reaching A sharp