ART review

Henry Vlll's wives: preparing to make love with the CCA

Henry Vlll's Wives Glasgow: CCA until Sat l6 Jan

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In a culture increasingly nervous about taking gambles, the CCA’s choice of Henry Vlll’s Wives seems an unusually brave move Within the context of Glasgow, this six-person collective’s show Civil Disobedience is a proverbial breath of fresh air

In recent years, it’s increasmgly apparent that the city's problem is the shadow cast by the popularity of its international art stars Rigid paradigms of success have fostered a climate where too much attention is being laVIshed on the opinion of the 'godfathers' of Scottish art Henry Vlll’s Wives manages to both combine the best of Scottish art With influences from Outside the 'scene'

In the first room, there’s a large-scale Video protection It is immediately a startling experience which has a clarity of communication all too often lacking in contemporary art Suspended from

the ceiling by harnesses, seven artists sway back and forth in a human replication of Newton's Cradle. The Cradle is usually made up of equally- sized metallic balls which, once activated, tap back and forth Henry’s

version has none of the stylish chic jUSI a hefty dose of absurdly funny

pathos and bathos As the human body isn't designed to work in a Cradle, the spectacle comes from the sight of one of the artist’s futile attempts to generate momentum by crashing into his comrades' bodies. In the lulls between attempts at perfect equilibrium, the artists sway, like outsize babies in weird S&M gear,

The rest of the show ObVlOUSly suffers by comparison However the fact they are 'mistakes’ is indicative of an attitude that takes chances and isn’t too censorious about things that don't look right. Havrng said that, the Coca Cola piece is hilarious Kill the cop made you and get a bit of 'cer disobedience’, (John Beagles)

Edinburgh: lnverleith House until Sun 31 Jan a a- x”:-

’I had been here before' In a self- consciously poncey way, the opening line of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited is appropriate for Family In one of the capital's more traditional interiors that makes for one of the most gorgeOus art spaces, there's a familiar ring to proceedings Like the east- With which one slips into old routines when you return to the familial bosom And, at such a potentially disastrous time of year, it can all too easily end in tears

From the collection of British collector Peter Fleissig, works by Damien Hirst, Callum Innes, Sam Taylor-Wood and others occupy the rooms where they can renew old rivalries and affections. The result, as anyone abOut to embark On a round of season's greetings Will somehow live to tell, is a lively, If at times strained, niish-mash of the good, the had and the ugly

So while the dining room is unsullied Virgin-white, both in a painting by Callum lnnes and Simon Starling's chairs that await some inVisible dinner party, by the time we’ve moved upstairs, there's the sad solitude of Georgina Starr's Video piece, Crying. In between, there’s the warts 'n’ all of Richard Billingham’s portraits of his

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Homemade Eames: DKS chairs 1955

by Simon Starling mum and dad, Emma Kay’s wry The Bible From Memory and, in a rare moment of hope, Douglas Gordon’s Instruction (Number Seven), which states ’I believe in miracles'

Throughout are soundscapes by Liisa Roberts and DJ Spooky, which seem to move not so much from cradle to grave but come from Within the womb itself, only to shoot straight for the heart. Granddaddy of them all is Richard Hamilton, whose contemporary updating of his take on SOs consumer culture is as resonant as ever With the Wisdom of the elder statesman. (Neil Cooper)


Glasgow: Byres Road until Wed 23 Dec at “t sit *

I first wandered into the magical nation of Lapland in 1996. I believed I had finished my Christmas shopping but no. Lapland is the kind of place where you become convinced that a boulder makes an ideal present and a beautifully boxed lump of coal can become your heart’s desire.

This year the loose collective of artists and designers are selling their festive wares in Glasgow's Byres Road. A range of art and deSIgn multiples are on show. It's a funky alternative to the usual 'chrissy gifts’, with prices between 50p and over £100 for the latest verSion of the aforementioned boulders by Hugh Pizey. Highlights this year include the chance to have y0ur very own ’synthetic hole’ installed by artist Peter McCaughey in your living room, as well as a Surrealist’s shaving mirror. Named Un Chien Andalou and described as a ’portable contact lens mirror', it’s not for the faint hearted. (Meira Jeffrey)

Same difference... by Lucy McMillan


Glasgow: Lloyd Jerome Gallery until Tue 12 Jan vent

'Warning’, states the prewew invitation to Jim McChesney’s paintings, 'some exhibitions promise more than they deliver’ In contrast with some people we could mention, this exhibition delivers all its manifesto promises. There are submarines, Scottish worthies, celestial phenomena and, above all, there are balls.

Eyeballs, golfballs and, well, balls. Forget New Neurotic Realism (if yOLJ haven’t already), this is the New Ironic Priapism (the unputdownable member, so to speak). If you tire of tackle, McChesney has plenty of energy left for our re- emerging nation state. In Preparing The Flag For Pres/dent Sean, the Saltire is restructed for 'for future President Sean’ to incorporate his real motherland. the golf course. In Hale Macintosh Bop, the Glasgow architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh is a particularly tragic figure. Even Clinton gets a look in -- which of course brings us back to Willies again. (Mona Jeffrey)

The Social Life Of Stuff

Glasgow: Fly Gallery until Sun 20 Dec 1: it a §-§§§\;§

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s by (amie McNab One of the central concerns of the modern era has been the relationship between art and the everyday. While classic Greenbergian modernism prized the separateness of the art object from the corrupting contamination of the popular, more recently a generation of younger artists have deliberater sought to intertWine their work With the VICIsSItudes of life The Social Life Of Stuff continues to explore these themes in a Curatorially loose show.

Janice McNab presents two small paintings and photographic documents recording the spartan liVing conditions of those suffering from 'total allergy syndrome' LiVing on the plains of New MeXico, this alienated community suffer from a complete aversion to the commodities of capitalism. McNab’s paintings of their necessarily austere liVing conditions pOignantly convey the 'otherness' of their strange, nomadic life

Mary Redmond and Hayley Tompkins engagement With the social life of stuff is more classically modernist Both have made slight interventions into the fabric of the burlding Tompkins has arranged worn scraps of magazrne paper in the cracks of the breeze block wall, whiie Redmond has painted a metallic pole berry-purple and placed a sample of black fabric

l along its length Subtle, self— ***STAR 3:31.33): f ‘k ‘3’ l I referential and artistically *hhk Verygood ! autonomous, their mutual esotericism a, 1.... Worth a Shot i is pronounced. (John Beagles) * 1k Below average is You've been warned U