Everybody wants to rule the world
It's springtime in Glasgow and the optimistic ideas of artists based in the city will be on show at CCA.
Words: Moira Jeffrey
With Scottish art on a high, the forthcoming show at Glasgow’s CCA has an appropriately optimistic title. It’s called If] Ruled The World. The name, explains Ross Sinclair who has co-curated the exhibition with fellow Glasgow-based artist and native Icelander, Bryndis Snmbjornsdottir, comes from the popular song sung by Tony Bennett, where he croons about the first day of spring and other cheesy delights. ‘The words are so hammy, so awful,’ says Sinclair, ‘but like every terrible cliche’, there’s a truth in them.’
The show brings the curators together with six others based in the city — Claire Barclay, Martin Boyce, Roddy Buchanan, Simon Starling, Rose Thomas and Clara Ursitti — for a home game after an away ﬁxture in Reykjavik last year. The mix reflects the way Scotland’s high profile has not only developed local talent, but attracted artists from further afield to train and work here. These are all artists with growing success and pressure on their timetables, so a chance to work together has been a rare opportunity. ‘The artists we selected were all people who have done a lot of shows and been around the block a bit,’ says Sinclair. ‘We wanted to try and get them to loosen up a bit, experiment and have a go
78 THE LIST 30 Mar—13 Apr 2000
'The words are so hammy, so awful, but like every terrible cliche, there's a truth in them.’
Glasgow artists come in from the cold
at other avenues.’
One year on, with even greater international commitments, Boyce shortlisted for the Beck’s Futures Art Prize and Starling and Boyce selected for the British Art Show, the chance to see new work in Glasgow is even more welcome. This won’t be the work for Iceland simply transposed to the CCA, but a brand new show, which will be put together in the gallery a few days before it opens on 8 April.
The collaborations under way include an intriguing project by sculptor Claire Barclay and Clara Ursitti who for the last few years has been researching and working with the unlikely material of smells. At the Fruitmarket Gallery last year she created Bill, a scent that was recognisable as the substance that Mr Clinton left on Monica Lewinsky’s dress.
For the CCA show the artists have been exploring the link between smell and the world of salmon fishing; recent scientific research suggests that the success of women at the sport is due to the fact that they give off pheromones that attract the fish. Towards the end of the show this theory will be put to the test when the artists take a group of women on a fishing trip up north.
Boyce and Starling will explore their interest in the classic French director and comedian Jacques Tati, and there will be a screening if his film Playtime at the gallery on the afternoon of Sunday 16 April.
While all the artists involved have very diverse interests, Sinclair believes that what unites them is a utopian view of things. ‘Bryndis and I chose artists who each have an interesting, particular way of looking at the world,’ he says. ‘They are not just accepting things as they are but look at how everything could be a little different. We saw that as being positive.’
At the CCA this April, spring is clearly in the air.
lRuIed The World is at CCA, Glasgow Sun 9 Apr-Sat 20 May.
News from the World of Art
THE REVAMPED TATE Gallery at Millbank London, now to be known as Tate Britain, has kicked off with some high-profile celebrity input including limelight-hugging artists signing their autographs on its walls. But it's light of a different kind that should provide some more lasting interest this year. Until September, a neon sign by Martin Creed will be placed on the facade above the main entrance. Creed’s low-key art (one work consists of a screwed-up ball of paper) has received rave reviews. His work at Edinburgh's lnverleith House will be one of the highlights of the British Art Show.
GOOD NEWS IN Glasgow as a new commission is awarded to sculptor Kenny Hunter. The Jesus 2000 visual arts commission is worth £10,000 plus a materials grant of up to £30,000. Hunter’s proposal is for a life-size sculpture of Jesus emphasising his role as an active agitator. The finished work, called The Man Walks Amongst Us, will go on display in the St Mungo’s Museum in the autumn. Hunter’s work doesn’t pull its punches when it comes to social commentary and will bring a much-need fillip of contemporary art to the city collections.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ARTIST Calum Stirling who is off to Canberra this month. Stirling has a three month SAC residency in the capital of Oz.
MEANWHILE, FOR THOSE of us still feeling the absence of Glasgow Southside art action watch this space for news about Tramway. Announcements about the reopening of the venue and the forthcoming visual arts programme are expected in April.
Kenny Hunter with his winning proposal