HISTORICAL Anne Frank: A History ForToday
City Art Centre, Edinburgh, until Tue 6 Feb * t 1: 4r
ANNE fRANK HOUSE, AMSIERDAM
Lessons for the future?
It seems unlikely that anyone is unfamiliar With the story of Anne Frank and her secret hideaway. Even if you’ve never read her diary, been round the Amsterdam museum or seen the play/film, chances are the plucky teenager’s tale has somehow made its way into your memory bank. So walking into the City Art Centre to View Anne Frank: A History For Today, you don’t expect any surprises. But once again, the sheer disbelief that something as appalling as the Holocaust could happen in our so-
called cIVilised age, knocks you flat.
Having divided the exhibition into six
'pavilions', each comprising four j illustrated boards, the curators request that you read each one in turn for
Satellite 1 The Arches, Glasgow, untilWed 31 Jan
Raydale Dower’s Iumino-mannequin
The Arches has re-emerged butterfly- like and, while the contemporary design set have made their mark, the building is still rough enough around
the edges to keep it interesting. One of the new additions is an unusual exhibition space.
The first exhibition is one of a series
of three that will be showing the work
of emerging Glasgow artists who have passed through Glasgow’s sadly now defunct Satellite Studios. For Satellite 1
eleven artists have created new works for the Arches vaulted space. They E include sculpture, video, painting and 1 photography from Raydale Dower’s
72 THE lIST 18 Jan—1 Feb 2001
maximum effect. Beginning With Anne’s birth in 1929, the proud mother and baby photo is iuxtaposed With poverty and misery among the German people As unemployment queues lengthen and food supplies grow shorter, the public look for somebody to blame. Enter Hitler and his ’lews are Our greatest enemy' campaign, creating a slow burning anti-Semitism and ultimate genOCide of six million people.
Throughout the exhibition, personal photos from the Frank family album run alongSide documentation of Nazi invasions, putting a face to the nameless millions. Mindless policies on disability (80,000 killed to stop the ’enfeeblement of the race’) and homosexuality (gay men were forced to choose between castration and the concentration camp) are also highlighted. As ever, Anne’s eloquent text captures the family’s unflagging spirit while leaving us in no doubt of the hardship endured.
Created to comode With the first UK Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January, the exhibition also questions intolerance in today’s world, but falls slightly short of the mark. Victims of racial attacks in Britain, such as Stephen Lawrence, receive some attention, but the recent ethnic cleansing in the former YugoslaVia is scarcely mentioned. The thing they said could never happen again almost did, and perhaps a little more lip serVice could have been paid to that fact. (Kelly Apter)
part ethereal, part club-culture lumino- mannequin, to Sally Chapman’s painting/found ObJECt work, to Karen Dickson's poignant child’s play Video stills.
David Griffin injects some wry
humour into the exhibition with About :
As Interesting As. He invites viewers to Sit Jim Royle-like in a crocheted throw- covered armchair, in front of a TV screen showmg the same, but empty, chair. Griffin points to the process of looking, while gently poking fun at the power that TV (art) has to keep us looking (watching).
In Key(s) To Identity, artist Riel displays individual sets of keys accompanied by psychological ’profiles’ of their owners. This is a work that certainly appeals to human nature, a little voyeuristic, a little nosy, but at the same time commenting on our need to have someone psychologically, socially, astrologically dissect us and tell us something about our own selves (sneaky peeks at keys all round — wondering which ’key type’ you might be!)
The works are dotted around the whole space, sometimes blatantly obvious, sometimes hiding in corners, so at first it seems a very unconventional and sparse exhibition. Although it unfolds quite well, and although each art work seems just to define its own corner, you have to take in much more of the surrounding space in between, a process that
successfully unites a collection of very
diverse works. A case of strident individuality settled nicely within an all- embracing environment.
MIXED MEDIA The G31 Open
Market, Glasgow, until Wed 31 Jan * air *
A postcard from the edge, straight out of Dennist0un, the G31 Open exhibition is a qunky little Slice of Glasgow’s East End mindset. Market gallery distributed 3000 inVitational, blank postcards to a broad cross- section of the local community, asking the respondents to express their thoughts about liVing, working and passing out on the soon to be gentrified streets of G31
The reSUlting communiques from the underground, the tenements, the schools offer a funny, occaSionally pomted, often weird, insight into the collective Dennist0un brain. Some of it is angry. One rightfully fed-up indiVidual replied With a picture of his rising damp Some is iust plain freaky. One strange child has drawn a green-faced Father Christmas With Freddy Kruger hands — be afraid, be very afraid.
Another humorous piece features a paper sCUlpture of the 'bloke l met at the bus stop’, while there’s more than a whiff of Wishful thinking in much of the kids’ draWings of a bright sun shining down on G31. If only.
Art gallery exhibitions involVing the local community can often come across as patronismg and superior. The G31 Open thankfully manages to aVOid being either. (John Beagles)
MIXED MEDlA In The Public E e: Great Works 0 Art From Scotland And The Borders
Burrell Collection, Glasgow, until Sun 4 Feb * it
Don’t be misled. 'Great works from
Scotland and the Borders’ are not
necessarily works created by Scottish
artists, but those that have made their - way into various Scottish collections. While this shouldn’t matter in itself, it doesn’t help the exhibition gel. There are some beautiful, albeit strangely juxtaposed paintings: Ramsay’s rosy- : cheeked Scottish aristocrats next to Poussin-inspired classical landscapes, Scottish colourist works alongSide paintings by and of Winston Churchill. There are some .
real treasures to be found among the bejewelled trinkets and of the furniture on ' . show, it’s a case of the good, the bad and the ugly.
All of the works on display are brought together because they are tax-exempt, which basically means they have never left our British shores. But by cramming these vaguely connected artefacts into one small room, the exhibition becomes reminiscent of an antique auction.
It is interesting that the works have come out of hiding but, and maybe this is a romantic idea, they may not have lost their treasure status if they had stayed private. (Claire Mitchell)
VIDEO ' Man Ray Films
Centre Pompidou ‘k
Postcards from the edge
Reminiscent of an antique auction
Man Ray was an artist who challenged
the rigid structures of art in an
attempt to liberate the imagination.
Influenced by dadaism and embracing
surrealism, he pushed the boundaries
of object association to create a new
order of awareness. Celebrated as a
surrealist photographer, Man Ray also attempted avant-garde filmmaking.
However, as this Video release
reveals, filmmaking was not his f0rte.
The tape comprising eleven short
autobiographical films (some home-
movie style) and four longer fiction
films is for the ardent Man Ray fan,
who will delight in and debate on the
complexities of the imagery. Otherwise
it is an extremely tedious 112 minutes .
of self-indulgent nonsense. Best played on fast forward, with the occaSIonal F
pause, just to confirm that nothing interesting is happening.
it does however, allow the viewer to create a surreal reverie as they slip into I
unconsciousness. (Isabella Weir)
I Man Ray Films available from BF/ Video ([19. 99) from Sat 20 Jan. To order a
copy, contact BF/ Video on 0207 957 8957.