336 Pek (336 Rivers)
Glasgow: Tramway until Sun I6 Jul ﬁr it a ‘k *
Joao Penalva's 59-minute video piece is closer to being a text read aloud than the usual cinematic experience. The footage seen, of a park in summer, saturated with yellow-green is shot from a static camera and the action consists mainly of swaying trees. This image serves as a backdrop for Penalva's Russian text, soporifically intoned and subtitled in English.
The film opens with a question — ‘What do you remember of your father?’ -— which sparks a series of anecdotes, legends and reminiscences centred on Lake Baikal in Siberia, which is fed by the 336 rivers of the title. Each of the stories considers variations on the themes of unreliable memory, fiction and storytelling; the narrator learns the unreliability of urban myth as a child and relates opposing versions of legends from the Russian region.
The lengthiest examination of the veracity of fictions comes in the form of a long story, told second-hand to the narrator and retold here, of an old couple who over
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An open, organic project
a period of time filled their apartment with rubbish from the streets of Rome. This is cast in a romantic light in the first telling; the old people are former Post Office workers looking for secrets denied them by unopened letters handled over the years.
When an alternate truth is revealed by Vera, wife of the first teller, the narrator pauses to inform us that, were this a film, the name Vera (literally 'the truthful') would be poor scriptwriting, then reveals that the words heard by the audience are spoken by an actor. This direct acknowledgement of fiction then sparks a recitation of the names of all the 336 rivers, seemingly, at last, a verifiable, unquestionable factual finale.
The park scene then floats back into view, and we are told that there are 460 tributaries of Lake Baikal and only 227 of them have ever been named. This film, despite the almost total lack of movement onscreen, is a joy to watch and listen to. This is mainly due to Penalva’s skill as a storyteller and the often moving anecdotes that pin together the deft consideration of his weighty themes. (Jack Mottram)
a Screenings are at 7pm, 3pm and 5pm.
kinds of colonialism, the share index from a newspaper reflecting the exploitation of natural resources by lTIUlll-lldIlOlelS
But this isn't a dry political exercise as Kempacloo’s images are subtle and poetic meditations, a way of writing history where it hasn't been written before. She uses texts from contemporary Caribbean writers like Pauline Melvrlle who talk about what it’s like to live between two Cultures and a marvellous quote from Voltaire's Candide on the European impulse to travel, trade and, by implication, exploit. But most importantly, the discussions she has started don't stop on the gallery walls, Virtual Exiles is a touring exhibition accompanied by workshops and by a dense interactive website (wwwchannelorguk/Virtual
Glasgow: Street Level until Sat 22 Jul ****
While investigating her own roots in Guyana, English-born photographer Roshini Kempadoo explores the broader issues of eiriigraticm and eXIIe. What does belonging mean? How do we use words like roots anyway? And
Who's in charge of recording history? Kempadoo’s digital prints fuse the different ways of looking at her county of origin and upbringing, contemporary photos are spliced With found images from ethnographic collections, family albums and archival records The kind of anthropological images collected during the colonial period are overlaid With contemporary
Movmg around the site, there are images Within images, an unfolding of different stories and the Opportunity for mdrvrduals and groups to contribute their own text, images or sound pieces. It's an open, organic proiect, filling in the gaps With experiences that many histories have ignored or eradicated. (Morra Jeffrey)
New Work Scotland Programme 1
Edinburgh: Collective Gallery until Sun 23 Jul * t a: it
5.33m» In the first of the Collective Gallery’s series of shows highlighting the best in new Scottish art, Davrd Blyth attempts to have Visitors reconsider man's inhumanity to animal. His darkly humorous works range from bronze casts of rabbit corpses, intended to be used as anti- motorist weaponry, to Roadkill Scoop for Saab 2000, a devrce for collecting decomposing fauna from countryside roads.
The second artist on show, Bryan Davies, is more concerned With the human condition. His ’collaborative sculptural exerCises' investigate the psychological phenomenon of functional fixedness, where limits are placed on a person's ability to solve problems by received ideas about an object's function.
Some of the Video documentation of Davres' proiects are clear enough: an opposmg pair of hands grapple With a penCil in a strained attempt to draw a house, reconfiguring a solo draWing tool for use by two people. Other works are oblique to say the least, With footage of the artist’s appearance on Blue Peter and an unnervrng set piece involvmg the collapse of a wooden column on a man's head. It is almost as if Dawes has moved beyond a direct interest in problem- solvmg mm a new plane where his works, presented alongside the raw materials used, are intended as new fixed functions for the non-problems he has dreamt up. (Jack Mottram)
Edinburgh: Sleeper until Mon 10 Jul *t***
In Edinburgh’s newest art space is work by one of America’s most legendary artists. Bruce Nauman is hailed as a hard- to-define conceptual artist who has changed the look of contemporary art Even cutting the hyperbole, he remains an artist to be reckoned With. The art critic Robert Hughes dubbed him 'the artist as nursance’.
And what we get from Nauman is an exclusive. In this subterranean small white room of a gallery, lit by two lone strip lights is the first ever public broadcast of Five Tapes. Made by Nauman in 1970 and On loan from a private collection in the States, this is a sound piece With impact. Sit down in the space which is empty save for two speakers and let the crash, bang collision of n0ise overwhelm you. It is an expenence
This is the first show in a series to be curated by Barry Barker for Sleeper. An initiative of the artist Alan Johns on, this is definitely a space to embrace Housed beneath the Edinburgh offices of architects Reiach and Hall, Sleeper is provmg to be far from soporific. (Susanna Beaumont)
6-20 Jul 2000 THE “ST”