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Cats out the bag: David Blyth's Empty Cat Bags on show in Citizen 2000 at the Collective


ls Edinburgh shrugging off its timidity towards resolutely contemporary art? It seems it is.

-.'.’:.;::<,: Susanna Beaumont

:\re winds ol change rustling through Scotland‘s capital'.’ The political landscape laces an imminent redesign. but what about the art scene? Edinburgh has been criticised l‘or contentedly peddling its past hinder ol tartan-wintpped heritage than energetically supporting contemporary art by Scotland-based artists. Yet a notable bree/e blew through the city last year \\ hen Rose l‘rain declared in the magazine Artist .\'r n x/('I/('/'. ‘though \‘istlall_\ stunning. Edinburgh‘s innate conserxatisai has long promoted a climate inhospitable to contemporary visual art practice‘.

So is the city (it ‘you'll have had your tea‘ lame warming up and getting to grips with a more open—doors policy to contemporary art'.’ ()\ er the nest l‘cw months a number ol lidinburgh‘s art venues are curating shows that celebrate \vha. has long been acknowledged by contemporar) art commentators: Scotland‘s artists are hot. l-‘or lane Warrilow. curator at the City .'\tl ('entre and the cnue tor [.m‘u/U which includes the work ot' ten S, otland-bascd artists at various the wake—up call came in NW) when l-itlinburgh's galleries jointly hosted the British ..\rt Show. ‘I: was a time ol‘ collaboration.‘ she

stages oi their careers

says. ‘.\'o\‘. w ith elegtions on () May. the possibility of

contenipot‘at‘} art .‘t‘ally being part ol‘ the cultural scene scents e\citit‘.

l’erhaps lidinhurgh. which on the one hand ot‘l’ers

up the 'larlati t'\j"‘l‘it‘tlt‘c“. exhausts its sense ol adventure with the annual l‘estival and Fringe. ()r


Edinburgh has been criticised for contentedly peddling its past rather than energetically supporting contemporary art by Scotland-based artists.

have the city‘s galleries been touched by a sense oi~

complacency? Could it be. with the temporary closure of Glasgow‘s two main art venues Tramway and the Centre for Contemporary Art l’or Lottery- t‘unded rel'its. that Edinburgh has felt obliged to step into the breach? As Warrilow points out. the city

council-funded City Art Centre has a responsibility ol‘

showing the best ol’ contemporary art. ‘lt is about establishing networks. being both critical and supportive of what is happening in the city and Scotland as a whole.‘ she believes.

Meanwhile. around the corner from the City Art Centre. the Collective Gallery is putting on for the third time its biannual show ol‘ work by tinal year and MFA students from Scotland‘s l'our art colleges. (‘itizcn 2000 showcases work by emerging artists. not only offering a career stepping stone to those selected but engendering confidence in all artists new on the scene. So believes Sarah .'\’lttnro. director ot the Collective. There is also. senses Munro. ‘an increasing concern in serious engagement with a broader public. not just a narrow art audience.‘ h/loreover. practical concerns are showing through. With the majority ol’ art students having to take jobs to l'und their training. cheaper materials are being used and a degree ot’ social comment is being employed as a strategy of responding to their situation.

Appropriately the Talbot Rice Gallery's exhibition In The .S'uIn/m'rIi/m' is showing work by artists specifically drawn l'rom Scotland's WASP studio network. Out to provide low-cost studio space in fourteen locations across the country. WASP is a crucial backbone to hundreds ol' artists. As Jane Warrilow points out: ‘Now is the time to ensure a support system for artists. it' Edinburgh is going to continue to look l‘orward.‘

Locale is at the City Art Centre, Sat 8 May-Sat 19 Jun; Citizen 2000 is at Collective Gallery, Sat 17 Apr-Sat 15 May; In The Summertime is at the Talbot Rice Gallery,

Sat 19 Jun-Sat 24 Jul.


i i l l t

t l i l l l ! i


Art world news and views


the Fruitmarket Gallery's forthcoming

Edinburgh Festival show of work by American artist Kiki Smith and her

papier maché piece, Hanging Woman.

The Edinburgh Evening News ran a

story with comments from the chair of

Edinburgh's Samaritans who was

quoted as saying 'this seems beyond the pale. The impact on people who

are clinically depressed or those

harbouring suicidal feelings would, I

am sure, be acute.’ While

understanding of such sentiments, the underlying message would seem to be that artists should confine themselves

to producing edifying works and not tackle the more painful aspects of life.

A NEW BOOK is out looking at the

work of Anya Gallaccio. Entitled

Chasing Rainbows, it is published by Glasgow’s Tramway and Locus + to mark Gallaccio's current installation,

Glaschu, at Glasgow’s Old Court House. An extraordinary artist,

famously known for her giant gerbera

daisy chains, she is appropriately

summed up by the critic Ralph Rugoff:

’Carrying a bucket of hot lead in one

hand and a bouquet in the other, Gallaccio treks along the edges of various aesthetic territories,

continually crossing borders and never


FRANCIS McKEE HAS announced his resignation from the post of head of

programming at Glasgow‘s Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA). McKee has

held the position since 1997. His

departure provides an opportunity for

the CCA to rethink their curatorial

direction. With their Sauchiehall Street

premises currently closed for a

Lottery-funded refit, the CCA hace

relocated to McLellan Galleries.


1999 Turner Prize. Pick up a

nomination form from Waterstone's

Booksellers or e-mail www.tat.org.uk

your chosen artists by 16 May. The shortlist will be announced on Thu 3


ACCLAIMED ARCHITECT AND the designer behind the Millennium

Dome’s Mind Zone, Zaha Hadid is to give a talk at Glasgow Film Theatre on Wed 5 May at 6pm. Also as part of

Glasgow 1999 UK City of Architecture

And Design, designer Marc Newson

will talk at the same venue on Wed 28

Apr. For tickets call 0141 332 8128.



, K ~ schu: Anya Gallaccio‘s planted gree line at the Old Court House, Glasgow