Another Place Glasgow: Tramway until Sun 16 Jul
At first it is disorientating. Walking into Tramway after its two year closure for a £3 million refit is a little like clapping eyes on a friend who has had a major makeover. It takes time to get used to the changes.
But one thing is for sure. Tramway has improved upon not lost its rugged good-looks. An internal ’street' leads you through the one- time tram depot. Walls have been left raw. Strip lights are marched out on the ceiling. Stretches of metal meshing act as balustrades. And you get vistas across the space. 200 Architects have successfully managed to let Tramway breath more easily. Your eyes can cruise up to see the wooden pitch roof, run along to gaze through a huge pane of glass on to Tramway’s not-quite- Zen garden or just do a visual runaround.
As to the main gallery space, Tramway 2, it is as vast and hangar- like as before. Tram lines still cut through the concrete floor and the walls still rise up halfway to heaven. And here is Another Place, a group show of work by eight artists. The bulk of the pieces are video work and projections. Stand at the entrance to the space, and flickers of light and movement rise out of the darkness. Graham Gussin and Jeremy Millar's Fornebu Drift, is a film projected on a vast screen. Filmed at Fornebu Airport near Oslo, a camera has clearly moved backwards through a deserted space. Endless, low-ceiling corridors snake and twist. Not one person appears, not one air hostess saunters through, not one piece of stray baggage is spied. No one is going anywhere. Fornebu Airport is shown redundant, every departure lounge impotent.
The human being takes centre stage in the work of the Glasgow-based artist Alan Currall. On five television monitors are screened videos featuring Currall talking about his best friend, talking about his feelings, talking about what he sees. They are intimate relevations,
Whitewashed tunnel terrorism?
Glasgow: The Clyde Bicycle and Pedestrian Tunnel, until Sun 18 Jun
the tunnel itself. Skrynka has also whitewashed the walls, and (relcreated a miniature tunnel-Within-a-tunnel, complete With spy-holes onto selected patches of photographed wall.
Tramway shows off its rugged good looks
made all the more so by the small two-seater bench in front of each television. Sit on the bench and Currall is very much upfront and personal.
Walk into Mike Nelson's The Resurrection Of Captain Mission and you enter another world. An architectural installation, a corridor leads into an abandoned bar. A glitter ball that has lost nearly all its glitter hangs from the ceiling. Remnants of a drum kit stand in the corner. Dust hangs heavy over the leather bar stools and the bar is clean out of drink. It is a stage set for bankrupted dreams. Elsewhere in Tramway, there are melted down interiors shown on screen courtesy of Ann Lislegaard and photographs of Cornwallis Island which lies in the far north of Arctic Canada by Joachim Koester. Another Place is about strange places and odd encounters, and Tramway 2 is just the place for such a show.
Whiteinch and Govan, only to (relpresent it in a tamed, impotent form, and to impose his own selective reading of the erased graffiti, Skrynka is more top-down class terrorist than artist. The websne accompanying the installation informs us that, 'cui‘iously, by removmg the graffiti [Skrynka] has actually drawn ocir attention to it ' Of course he has, because Without the presence of stewards and locked gates at night, it would be full of people who drink Buckfast and record their allegiance to football teams or street gangs
If, then, you want to take a pleasant walk through a 'dangerous area,’ and smile, charmed by the quaint sloganeering of the quaint working class while waves of innocuous mumblings entertain you, go to the Balshagray Crescent or Govan Road tunnel entrances. For a bit of contrast,
Stephen Skrynka’s installation in the Clyde Bicycle and Pedestrian Tunnel is certainly striking. The artist has meticulously dOCUmented 30 years worth of the sectarian, sexual and political graffiti from the tunnel walls, and used these found texts as the basis for a three week soundscape Within
This is a grotesque act of vandalism, and not, as the artist intends, an interaction between the generations of Glasgow graf writers and the world art community (the sounds heard in the tunnel are programmed by logging on to Tunnel's internet site). In erasnig the artwork of the teenage residents of
yoci might want to walk the adjacent pedestrian tunnel and add your name to the catalogue of sectarian loathing, sexual slurs, anti-poll tax, anti-police and anti-establishiiient graffiti that hasn’t been eradicated by an artist vandal for the enjoyment of his peers (Jack Mottram)
The Sea, The Sea
Edinburgh: Ingleby Gallery until Sat 17 Jun ~r v 2‘
Ships, schooners, yachts, fishing boats and barges In word alone these seafaring vessels seem near magical, And here in a show that brings together work by seven artists themed around all things nautical, you can almost whiff a salty sea breeze.
Margaret Mellis, the last survrvor of the St Ives Group, is clearly a beachcomber From hunks and chunks of driftwood she has constructed strange-looking figures ln Graham Rich's work small vessels are all at sea. Small boats are dwarfed by vast stretches of water while Edward Wadsworth shows a careful hand. An original member of the Vorticist movement, his copper plate engravrngs of Mediterranean vessels are a world away from dbSleCllOll,
From Christopher Wood there are French coastal scenes and from Alfred Wallis, who IS described as 'the flea- bitten old fisherman-turned-painter' there are small, moody paintings. Sailing away never seemed more appealing (Susanna Beaumont)
Hunks and chunks of driftwood from Margaret Mellis
Glasgow: Transmission Gallery until Sat24Jun
Glasgow artists Joanne Tatham and Tom O'Sullivan have managed to create something peculiar in the Transmissions two spaces. Upstairs, the pair have arranged pink neon strip lights on top of some suspiciously clean rubble, next to two large mirrored walls Downstairs, they present more strip lights, this time white, and leaning against the walls, So far, so site speCific‘, but the two works stand out thanks to them denying any interpretation or judgement they are neither good nor bacl, neither interesting nor uninteresting
This is by no means a fault Looking at The Glamour is a unicjue non- experienc‘e, as few artworks can claim to provoke such complete, blank indifference (even that word is overly strongi If you like your art to take you by the scruff of the neck, then this show is not for you It is, however, well worth seeing, since it is remarkably refreshing not to either love, loath or be bored by art. (Jack l\lotti'aml
8 22 Jun 2000 "IE “ST 89