ART reviews

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Best Eagle _ stickers, seemingly records of a boring

Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, until Sunday afternoon

TUE 20 F9b Next, Mark Titchner asks you to

Consider Nothingness, ConSider Somethingness (not as easy as it sounds) and, on another slogan-poster rendered in a smoothed out rave-flyer style, tells the Viewer that ’The Moral Emptiness of Today’s World is Appalling', presumably hoping people will think the moral emptiness of these works isn’t. Titchner’s other works meticulously realised, strangely engrossrng nail and string Spyrograph- style sculptures, which are like realisations of mathematical formulae, or illustrations of obsCure SCientific theories.

The best work on show, though, is from Michelle Naismith. The Video artist, better known as one half of A Love Laboratory, documents low-key performances including a woman holding a silver-forl wrapped bat, and a mirrored image of a woman rocking on a chair in front of a music stand. So far, so time—based, but where A Love Laboratory go in for elaborate, even lavish, installations, placing the Viewer in out-takes from imaginary Davrd Lynch films, Naismith solo seems pre- occupied with unfinished, sketchy video pieces. Both works here stand out because they look like notes for a future project: hesitant, tentative and unfocused.

In the end, Best Eagle is a show that proves it’s good to smirk.

(Jack Mottram)

Tichner’s Spyrograph-style sculpture

What is it With art these days? It doesn't make you weep, it doesn’t make you gasp, it doesn’t even make you titter. No, we are liVing in the age of smirk art, where the only possrble reaction to the stuff they put in galleries is a raised eyebrow and slight tilt of the lips.

Best Eagle is a case in pornt (just look at the title of the show), and the first smirk comes when you open the door to the gallery and are forced to jump to one side to av0id crushing Duncan MacQuarrie’s fragile tin-foil constructions that lurk like pre- pubescent boys trying to look hard or, since they’re titled Andrew W. Security, particularly ineffectual guard- dogs that neither bark nor bite. Mac;Quarrie has also constructed a series of booths along one wall, each containing a collection of objects

INSTALLATION Poul Henningsen and Simon Starling

Cooper Gallery, Duncan Of Jordanstone College, Dundee, until Sat 17 Feb

Starling’s installation Work Made- ready, La Baux de Provence (Mountain, Bike). It begins with his own mountain bike, which he used to collect red bauxite and iron-packed rocks in the south of France. We continue past a collection of gas cylinders, rubber- tubed laboratory apparatus, industrial chemicals, trainers and gloves stained by red dust, and home-made high- temperature crucibles. It ends with Starling's own aluminium reproduction of part of his bike's original frame. And so Starling's experimental work becomes art as craft, art as science, art as process.

The installation is lit by a series of lamps designed by Danish modernist designer, Poul Henningsen. Henningsen’s almost sculptural, space- age kitsch aluminium lamps a beautiful mix of luminescent discs and crystalline Kryptonite chrysanthemums make Starling’s laborious DIY factory methods seem rough and ready. It is the antithesis of objet d’art, but is, at the same time, right at the core of it.

While you cannot deny the formal beauty of Poul Henningsen’s lamps, Starling manages to flip usual gallery conventions by using revered art objects to illuminate what would normally be a background process. Much of Starling’s work is about process, even though that very process often leads to the display of a seemingly hermetically sealed work. The process becomes much more blatant, exploding the modernist myth of the singular beautiful work of art. (Claire Mitchell)

Flipping usual gallery conventions

Simon Starling says his work is not about making new objects, but about creating new relationships. This is certainly true of his latest exhibition. The gallery space resembles something between a building site and an experiment mid-progress, while the artwork itself refers to systems of progress, and process, within art and deygn.

The curved walls of the gallery guide you around the cyclical development of

82 THE “ST 1—15 Feb 2001

VIDEO Road Works Bulkhead, Glasgow, until Fri 30 Mar

Once upon a time, when revolutionary fervour gripped Europe, art was wrestled kicking and screaming onto the street. Rather than settle for functioning as disCrete decoration, art started to act up, to engage With the puber

Bulkhead's upcoming series of shows, entitled Road I‘Vorks, is offering a group of artists the opportunity similarly to speak to the street, albeit from behind a glass Window Utilising the gallery's expansive frontage, Holger i‘vlohaupt, Nicola Atkinson-Griffith, Stuart Gurden and Matt Hulse are looking to catch the eye of unsuspecting motorists and catatonic pedestrians

The first communique to the unsuspecting populace will be issued by Holgar Mohaupt. His Video Flat For of a patiently waiting rabbit in a field and his still of its impacted body, Will probably be as close as the local passers by will get to a slice of nature.

Later in the month, another representative from the animal kingdom will make an appearance in Stuart Gurden's Love Song Finding an unusual object of infatuation, Gurden's Video Will reveal a perhaps unhealthy attempt to form a bond With Our omnipotent neigthur the rat

The Bulkhead spacers one of the more interesting locations in Glasgow, and this series of short shows is sure to trigger some bemused double-takes by passers by and motorists. (John Beagles)

PAINTING Sigmar Polke: Music Of

Unclear Origin

National Gallery Of Modern Art, Edinburgh, until Sun 18 Mar

You can prevent milk from bOi/ing over by putting a velvet insole in your shoe. No, this is not a handy hint from yet another celebrity chef, peddling a particularly surreal approach to food preparation; it is one of the many humorous and often nonsensical captions accompanying Sigmar Polke’s 110 gouaches on show at the National Gallery Of Modern Art,

But perhaps the analogy With a chef is not altogether irrelevant here. Just as the guests of Ready Steady Cook can turn up With such seemineg unrelated ingredients as a sprig of parsley and a bar of chocolate, Polke combines images from diverse sources, including advertisements and popular culture, With a range of different styles and subject matter that appear to have no logical association. A drawrng of a Rococo lady, a felt tip pen sketch of a vase, drips of orange paint and a woman’s face formed from coloured dots that mimic. the type used in photo mechanical reproduction are brought together With a sense of irony and playfulness.

But if Polke is cooking anything up out of this hodgepodge of unconnected images, then perhaps it is something comparable to the tumultuous Visual stew that is contemporary life. (Donna Conwell)

NEW GALLERY Functional Art Amsterdam, Edinburgh

Holger Mohaupt’s Flat Fur

Ironic and playful works

Owning a poster of The Kiss or a blow-up Scream is the closest most of us come to owning art. Now, however, courtesy of the business concept Rentart we can all foster a piece of original art (and delusions of grandeur) from as little as £10 a month, keep it for three months then swap it or buy it. After a year, depending on the level of subscription, you Will receive money back to buy art.

Rentart is part of the new Edinburgh arthouse Amsterdam. This small welcoming gallery boasts an eclectic mix of art produced by both profesSional and amateur artists. The nature of the art changes every three months, presently it is Functional Art. Sex by Max Hague is Sixteen panels of a sea of co|0ur, which would transform any wall. Peter Russel’s work incorporates fliers from the Berlin Wall lending it a political pOignancy. Lillian Tait’s paintings are large figurative works inspired by ancrent themes.

Managing director Paul Frank wants to make art more adventurous, accessible and affordable. ’I want the public to investigate and explore an beyond the traditional watercolour,‘ he says. ’To conVince them that art is good fun.’

It’s certainly more satisfying than the tranSitory pleasures of the high street. Frank also believes that people should interact With art which is why Amsterdam Will also transform y0ur ceilings and floors into pieces of art . . if you dare. (Isabella Weir)

Sex by Max Hague