Glasgow's art scene has been a quieter place without Tramway. Its return promises a reprise of the ambitiousness
Of Old. Words: Susanna Beaumont
Denmark‘s Ann Lislegaard brings an international spin to Another Place
IT HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS A BARN of a space. Walk in and your eye hits a near acre expanse of floor. The walls stretch to a lofty height. For some. small tnay be beautiful. but Tramway‘s exhibition arena is large and exhilarating. if a touch overwhelming.
This is the place that has presented some of Scotland‘s most momentous and now close-to— legendary art exhibitions. ln I993 Douglas Gordon premiered his 24 Hour l’syehu. a screening of Hitchcock‘s famous film slowed down to a snail's pace. Janet Leigh‘s scream in a shower
just a showcase for home—grown talent. Barbara Kreuger. Keith Harring and Glen ()nwin. among others. were introduced to Scotland thanks to Tramway.
If there is any worry about the reincarnation of Tramway after its two year closure. it is that its exhibitions policy will struggle to be as bold. Previously. figurehead curators Nicola White followed by (‘harles lische programmed the space with a line-up of exhibitions on a par with the best art shows in liurope. Known for their visionary outlook. White and fische realised
that Tramway is
was stretched into an 'We are not changing our not the place
extraordinary muted how]. [I was the
first major solo show. and he has since gone on to receive vociferous international acclaim. In 1996 Gordon was awarded the Turner Prize and his work is now to be seen in London‘s Tate Modern.
Many of Scotland‘s now famous artists have launched their international careers here. from (‘hristine Borland. Smith and Stewart. Jacqueline Donachie. David Shrigley through to Roderick Buchanan. But it has been more than
22 THE LIST 25 May—8 Jun 2000
sense of vision; it is more Glasgow-born artist's a case of expansion.’ Susan Deighan
simply to airdrop in works of art. lts vast scale can all too easily swallow tip inappropriate artworks. It is a space that requires curatorial confidence. It needs artists undaunted by its scale.
Glasgow. lauded by the international media. critics and curators as a centre of huge artistic vitality. has badly missed 'I‘ramway. With (‘CA in temporary residence at the McLellan Galleries while its Sauchiehall Street premises is undergoing a Lottery refit. the city has been bereft of its large—scale. art
Fly—on-the-wall surrealism from Glasgow's Alan Currall
venues for two years. Although there have been numerous TramwayCa‘ events around the city. including an installation by Anya Gallaccio in Ingram Street and Stephen Hurrel‘s audio boat trip along the Clyde. the reopening of Tramway proper is eagerly awaited.
So will the spruced-up 'I‘ramway maintain and extend its international reputation‘.’ Susan Deighan. the current visual arts programmer. insists its curatorial adventurousness is still a force to be reckoned with. 'We are not changing our sense of vision.‘ she says. ‘lt is more a case of expansion rather than dumbing down or contracting our programme. Tramway is still thinking internationally. If anything limits our exhibitions policy. it is the question of money.‘
The exhibition programme does look set to kick off with considerable curatorial confidence. Another Place is a group show featuring eight international and L'K-based artists. It includes l’nrnehu Uri/i. a 'l‘ramway- commissioned film by London—based artists Graham Gussin and Jeremy Millar. a film by Tacita Dean. who was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1998. and new work by the (_}lasgow-based artist Alan (‘urrall Alongside this in the new Project Room is an exhibition that marks the culmination of the 1999/2000 Glasgow/Nantes exchange. lintitled Journey '1?) The Centre Of The (.t’m'i'erse. it showcases the work of five artists based in the lirench city.
And there is more. Sally ()sborn. a recent graduate of Glasgow School Of Art who was awarded one of Tramwayk Dark Lights commissions. will also be showing new work. Let‘s hope 'I‘ramway is starting as it means to go on and continues to flex a muscle of cultural dynamism.
Another Place and Sally Osborn, Fri 2 Jun—Sun 16 Jul; Journey To The Centre Of The Universe, Fri 2 Jun-Sun 9 Jul.