Forget the season's pantomime horses, DAVID WILKINSON and BEATA VESZELY get real about life and talk from the horse's mouth at the Collective Gallery. Words: .Iohn Beagles
David Wilkinson and Beata Veszely are. according to the title of their Collective show. Onto/ogically Yours. Now there‘s a phrase to ponder over. What exactly does it mean to be ‘ontologically yours“?
As ontology is. in philosophical terms. the branch of metaphysics which deals with the nature of being. it‘s fair to presume this will be a show with sights set on ‘big themes‘. While plunging into the maelstrom of fear. faith and death in the hope of plucking some useful pearls of universal truth. Wilkinson and Veszely are following a tradition long explored by artists working in the Western humanist tradition. However. few such explorations have featured the cerebral talents of a pair of talking horses.
While the bulk of the work on display will be their own individual work. the one collaborative piece features the philosophical musings of the couple. masquerading as a pair of disillusioned horses. Their conversation features them searching for a spiritual solution to the alienation caused by the city: trying to find an equilibrium between city living and country life. Veszely‘s country horse reveals a romantic interest in the attraction of dream-like escape offered
l by the security of a ‘place where the grass is always
'Their one collaborative piece features the philosophical musings of the couple, masquerading as a pair of disillusioned horses.’
In the 'burbs: Mobile Suburban Defence Unit by David Wilkinson
green. where the sun is always shining’.
The piece promises to provide an amusing take on the central concerns of their work: fantasy and escape. ‘The work deals with a fictionalised present.‘ the pair explain. ‘A point in time where the need to escape becomes so great that it sucks the colour and light out of the everyday. and leaves us with no choice but to invent our own version of reality.’
The tension and friction between the realities of day-to-day existence and the desire for material and psychological escape are further articulated in Wilkinson’s solo work. This examines the nostalgic allure of comforting architectural forms. such as the familiar mock-Tudor Barrett home. Building a version of these simulated. architecturally redundant forms. his intention is to present ‘a place that has been constructed using the misspent sexual aggression of a failed relationship. not with any one individual. however. but with the most difficult and inescapable thing. life’.
The interest in horses stems from the Hungarian- born Veszely‘s own art practice. In what has been a humorous and perverse artistic relationship with the equestrian world (Veszely once videoed a day in the life of a horse which was screened at Glasgow’s Transmission). she has sought to examine the fascination horses hold. specifically for women. And it's one not untainted by the familiar erotic fascination with the equine.
Now based in London. both artists previously lived and worked in Glasgow. A couple of years back. they flung open the doors of their tenement flat in Glasgow for a ‘home show‘ of art. entitled Wish You Were Here. Now caught up the hurly burly of London. they are looking forward to a short-term escape to Scotland.
Ontologically Yours is at the Collective Gallery, Edinburgh Sat 19 Dec-Sat 23 Jan.
Views from behlnd the Installation
IS CHARLES SAATCHI up to his Old tricks again, asks the art media? The man dubbed the Rupert Murdoch of the artworId is also the whizz behind New Neurotic Realism. First there was the book, soon the show at the Saatchi Gallery, and currently the highly hyped Die Young, Stay Young at London's ICA. Have the Sensation generation passed their sell-by date, or is it all just marketing tactics - and who had the cheek to launch neurotic as something ‘new’?
MAYBE NOT THE best antidote to late 20th century neuroses, but artist David Shrigley’s new book, Why We Got The Sack From The Museum (Redstone Press) is an absorbing way to interrogate/ confirm (delete as appropriate) ones general anxieties and daily dilemmas. However, Glasgow-based Shrigley’s drawings do have a knack of giving comfort. Perhaps Shrigley should set-up a helpline - a fin de siecle phenomenon for sure.
A HUB OF optimism is Dundee Contemporary Arts. Opening in March, it kicks off with a group show entitled Prime, featuring work by Anish Kapoor. Tony Cragg, Anya Gallaccio, Catherine Yass and others. Also planned are group shows from Ian Davenport and Glasgow's Christine Borland and Roderick Buchanan.
'NEW MILLENNIUM, NEW parliament. new arts. what's YOUR vision?’ So asks the Scottish Arts Council who have just produced a document to engender debate and discussion, available from their Help Desk on 0131 240 2443. Speaking of the new parliament, there has been talk of bringing artists on board. As time slips by, one wonders if there is a strategy. Surely the Parliament deserves more than eleventh-hour artworks?
A CALL TO Edinburgh-based artists. The City Art Centre is curating a group show in May 1999 and welcomes submissions from artists by 5 January. The selectors are Kim Sweet. previously director London's The Showroom; Sarah Munro. director of Edinburgh’s Collective; and Jane Warrilow of CAC. For info call 0131 529 3977.
Good, bad and the don't knows: David Shrigley takes on moral dilemmas.
17 Dec 1998—7 Jan 1999 MUST!!!