MIXED MEDIA Fernando Arias

Gallery Of Modern Art, Glasgow, Fri 20 Oct—Sun 28 Jan.

Human umbilical cords, blood samples and images of foetal scans not your usual artistic medium. But for Colombian artist Fernando Arias, they are integral parts of his creative process. In his first major solo show in Scotland, one of South America’s leading contemporary

artists presents both newly commissioned and retrospective works.

Arias' installations, video and performances have been shown throughout Latin America and Europe, but he is no stranger to Scottish shores. A one-time resident in Edinburgh, his installation piece Serapositivo comprising thousands of anonymous blood cells some healthy, some infected illuminated in UV light was shown as part of Fotofeis in 1995. And in 1997, Arias had his signature tattooed above his right pelvic bone, auctioning off the signed flesh to the highest bidder. Curated by Alice Angus, the exhibition at Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art highlights the addition of more challenging artworks to its programme. In Blood Samples (1995), we are confronted with a video piece of hundreds of blood slides going across the screen. Umbilical Cord (1998) is a preserved umbilical cord encased in a glass tube. In his triptych of 1998, we see Arias crouched in a foetal position with an umbilical cord attached to his genitals. And his most recent works include a coffin built entirely from Lego. Raising questions of what is considered ethically acceptable in the making of art, is Arias merely trying to shock?

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Fernando Arias: the Consequence Of Being Human

'l’m not trying to shock,’ explains Arias. ’It's very much in the mind of society if they find these things shocking or not. It’s all to do with how we approach these issues. It's also a cultural thing as I’m not from here.’

This cultural difference is indeed an issue. In South American cultures, women believe that the umbilical cord and the placenta should be buried beside a tree, a gesture to nature‘s cycle. For Arias, the materials he employs are nothing out of the ordinary. From the umbilical cord which brought us into existence to the box which takes away our corpse, Arias' themes of life and death and the consequence of being human are perfectly exemplified.

'lt’s really about life,' says Arias. 'As I live, I create and the output of that is the exhibition. The way I live, the things I do, the things I believe, it’s very me. Life makes me reflect and there is this need inside me to express this. It’s life as it is.’ (Helen Monaghan)

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Bulkhead Prize Exhibition 2000

Various venues, Glasgow, until Sun 12 Nov it it it it

The Bulkhead Prize is intended as a means for the shortlisted artists to present works outside of the usual gallery space. In this, the second year of the pri/e, Justin Carter, Jane Topping and Jess Worrall & Rob Kennedy have seized the opportunity With both hands, submitting works that interact With public spaces in and around Glasgow. Winning this year’s award for Waste/and, Carter has fashioned a

80 THE “ST 19 Oct —2 Nov 2000

camouflage suit from mrn2aturised (ilasgow landscape paintings taking the place of the usual army sguiggles Over the course of the show, (arte' \\"I be returning to the various locales depicted dressed in his uniform llrs iriteractior‘ With the public Will be left to chance encounters prevrous work, he explores maer relationship With v‘ature

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finally, Jess \Vorr‘ali 8. Rob Kennedy have infiltrated Morrison's boxing gym \‘.l'.ft «‘vlernor/a/ lrnor'ral, sfl()‘.\'lll(] en ilessly looped footage of violent trim and sporting events surrounded by t'ophies to provoke consideration of the relationship betWeen rnasculinity and (arter‘ and

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News and views from the world of art

THE ARCHES IN Glasgow is currently undergoing major refurbishment after receiving extensive Lottery funding. Among its developments will be new exhibition spaces, and artists are sought to submit site-specific work for the redeveloped building. Forming part of the multimedia arts event, Vault 2001, which opens next March, twenty contemporary visual artists working in the mediums of installation, environmental art, sculpture, digital, video art and painting will be selected. For an application form call 0141 221 9736. The deadline is Monday 27 November. SC OTLAND'S YEAR OF The Artist iSYOTAr is calling for applications from artists to take on an unusual public art commission The work Will be based on SYOTA's Give Me One Good Reason campaign \‘vflKit challenges high-profile people in the arts and public life to provide, in a short phrase, why the arts are irviportan: Artists of all disciplines are l,’l‘.lt(‘(l to appiy but hurry, the deadline for <il)l)fi(<lil()llS is Friday 3 November For further inforrriation call Rebecca Salt at Colman Getty Scotland PR, 147 Constitution Street, Edinburgh, EH6 VAL) lei 0131 853 5981, fax 0131 553 (1013, email

r‘ebecca@c ol'nartgettynrco uk

ONE YEAR'S FREE access to digital equipment and training for artists based in Scotland was announced last week by Edinburgh's Stills Gallery. Twelve artists per year for the next two years will be able to use the gallery's Richard Hough Resource free of charge. Along with the Centre's black and white and colour darkrooms, there will be customised training courses, one-to-one tuition, materials allowance, travel costs and a ’virtual' studio space within a new Stills website. For further information send an A4 SAE to Research and Training Awards, Stills, 23 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, EH1 tBP. Deadline for applications is Monday 20 November.

THE NAllONAL PORTRAIT Gallery in Edinburgh is inviting members of the l)tlf)li( to attend a spec ial opening l)f(‘\’l(‘\.‘.' of its new exhibition Significant Others Along With a private View of the show \vhic h draws together three centuries of port"arts by Scottish artists, gallery goers can enjoy a glass of nine or supper ll‘ the cafe, musical entertainment and a 20% discount in tne sf‘op The spec ial opening takes place on Friday 20 October, S 9pm

Vault 2001: a most unusual canvas