GROUP SHOW REVIEW
ECA Festival Exhibitions
National stereotypes have always been a convenient but dangerous shorthand. Perhaps it is this that The Nature Of Sweetness, one of the many subplots of this multi- faceted festival show, refers to. Bringing together six artists from Basle in Switzerland, it aims to challenge the chocolate box aesthetic. Add to this contrasting work by Californian Peter Sarkisian and Edinburgh College of Art graduates Angus Hood and Andy Moxon, and it becomes a lively show indeed.
In Mathis Vass's Installation With 1099 Pieces, a mini- metropolis of whirling shapes stencilled onto pieces of wood populate the floor of the Sculpture Court. With nails for legs, they huddle together under Vass's impressive large-scale canvases, similarly populated by disastrous-looking cartoon shapes, much like Peanuts on acid. Next to this, Magdalena Z‘Graggen's solid blocks of colour seem almost sober. On a different tack, visiting artist Barbarella Maier gives us a taste of her Easy Art Living Project with a triffid-like sculpture - actually a giant bagpipe ingeniously constructed with photocopied
. : Barbarella Maier‘s outsize bagpipes constructed from pape
Colour also features strongly in Angus Hood's new work. Painting on found objects like polystyrene and pieces of wood, Hood creates series of colour and shape with a deliberately retro-minimalist feel. His subject is style and consumer society, as the reference to Warhol in his photographic image piece The World of. . . makes clear.
Nearby, the cult of all-consuming celebrities is taken up in Andy Moxon's photographic installation The Thirteen Pillars Of Wisdom. The pillars in question are those of the Paris tunnel where Princess Diana died, which has since become a point of pilgrimage for many. Displayed side by side, these battered-looking pillars have become beautiful and iconically solemn.
Dusted, Peter Sarkisian's video installation, is something else again. Using two-dimensional projections on three-dimensional surfaces, Sarkisian creates the suffocating illusion that there are two people trapped inside a blackened dust-covered box. Struggling in the confines of their space, they gradually become visible as they brush the surfaces clean, trying to escape. Technically accomplished and visually compelling.
(Marc Lambert) I Festival Exhibitions, Edinburgh College of Art (Venue 73) 227 6032, until 29 Aug, daily, 70am-5pm, free.
. t r: s M. . 5,:
Nelson's interior destruction,
Trashed out: Mike
a trbute to H.P. Lovecraft
animals in captivity who pace endlessly. Back and forth, in a trance-like state, until a fit of fury fires the beast to tear at the walls in a bid to break free.
Mike Nelson's site intervention is called In Memory Of H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft was an early 20th century American cult pulp author of horror stories inhabited by creatures of an unimaginable ferocity. Nelson’s act of veneration to the late Mr Lovecraft is powerful. Its relevance goes beyond the world of wild beasties. It is about freedom of movement. To walk off busy Cockburn Street into this trashed interior is to be confronted by chaos.
In Memory Of H.P. Lovecraft
To walk into the Collective is to walk into a den. A frightening den. The walls are clawed, the woodwork gnawed. Half-lit, the once white gallery walls
82 THE LIST 19—26 Aug 1999
have been torn away, exposing chipboard and firedoors. The floor is littered with strips of plaster and paintwork.
What comes to mind is a frenzy of frustration, even madness brought on by imprisonment. Impounded in an enclosure a creature - man or beast - has tried to break out. Thoughts turn to
Just beneath a veneer of plaster lies an underworld of wood struts and construction mayhem. Of course, below the smile of sanity lurks a beast within. (Susanna Beaumont)
I In Memory Of H.P. Lovecraft, Collective Gallery (Venue 80) 220 7260 until 26 Sep, Tue-Sat Ham-5.30pm, Thu until 8pm, Sun 2-4pm, free.
I I h Itll ‘ \
Construction The Boyle Family show replicas of the ground beneath our feet. Staggering. Construction, 76 St Regent St, 553 7776, until 4 Sep. 77am-6pm, free. Kiki Smith The famed New Yorker artist whose papier- maché sculptures of the human body survey the fragility of life shows new work. Kiki Smith, Fruitmarket Gallery, 225 2383, until 77 Sep, Mon—Sat 77am—6pm, Sun noon-5pm, free
In Memory Of H.P. Lovecraft See review, left. In Memory Of H.P. Lovecraft, Collective Gallery (Venue 80) 220 7260, until 26 Sep, Tue-Sat 77am-5.30pm, Thu 77am-8pm, Sun 2—4pm, free. Festival 99 See review, left. Festival 99, Edinburgh College Of Art (Venue 73) 227 6032, until 30 Aug, daily 70am-5pm, free.
Gary Hume The king of household gloss who paints a high-colour world inhabited by the likes of Kate Moss and Patsy Kensit shows shiny, new work. Gary Hume: New Work, Dean Gallery (Venue 69) 624 6200, until 77 Oct, Mon-Sat 70am-5pm, Sun 77am—5pm, £2.50 (E 7.50).
Callum lnnes Gently chilled, minimalist paintings by the artist who was shortlisted for the Turner Prize a few years back. Cal/um lnnes, Ing/eby Gallery, 556 4447, until 77 Sep, Mon—Sat 70am-5pm, free.
John Stezaker Child beauties deformed by photographic manipulation — angelic faces transformed to juvenile demons. See review on following pages. John Stezaker, Portfolio Gallery (Venue 42) 220 797 7, until 4 Sep, Mon-Sat 70 30am-5 30pm, free.