Michael Caine, May 1965
DAVID BAILEY: BIRTH OF THE COOL
Dean Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sun 22 Apr .000
What a picture! All 147 of them, cataloguing David Bailey’s glittering career. From the post-war facades of London’s East End to the dizzy heights of celebrity, this exhibition exposes the inimitable style of Bailey, who made photography hip and a nation reach for their cameras.
‘The cool’ of the title is Bailey’s photography from 1957 to 1969. So roll out the barrel of nostalgia. Bailey and his subjects epitomise the 605. The young man half in shade staring through big glasses, his name is Michael Caine. Then there’s The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who; a generation that sneered and thus exuded cool. Peter Sellers, Sharon Tate and Oliver Reed all immortalised but not immortal. Also the women that Bailey’s camera caressed, from his muse Jean Shrimpton to the actresses Catherine Deneuve and Jeanne Moreau, both captured posing ingenuously.
Although Bailey is credited with making photography more fluid, it is his subjects that transform this exhibition because of the larger part they have played in popular culture. The more contemporary portraits do not hold as much magnetism, possibly because we are not yet nostalgic about Johnny Depp and possibly never will be about Naomi Campbell or the Gallagher brothers. (Isabella Weir)
PHOTOGRAPHY SEBASTIAO SALGADO
Art Gallery & Museum, Kelvingrove, Glasgow, until Sun 1 Apr 00.
There is something very. very wrong with Sebastiao Salgado's photographs. It's not the way they look, that's for sure. each and every one is an object lesson in photographic technique. fantastic compositions that seem drawn from the reels of lost historical epics and sci-fi blockbusters.
GROUP SHOW BEYOND
Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, until Sun 15 Apr 0..
Raking Over the legacy of high modernist culture is a recognisable signature in much Scottish art. Beﬂmtf is no exception. AlluSions to the failure of utopian planners to engineer a brighter future line the pine and concrete interior.
Toby PaterSOn's large-scale wall painting is a conflation of an abstract painting based on Victor Pasmore's designs for an estate in Newcastle .vith a schematic. architectural depiction of concrete slabs. The iuxtaposition highlights the gap between planners ideal and dwellers' daily grind.
Luke Fowler has assembled material relating tO an experiment in social planning at Kingston Hall in London's East End. Initiated to create a utopian idyll to counter the ravages of l92lls squalor, the hall was a forerunner of the welfare state. Fowler exhibits a video proiection Of archive material relating to the hall (a Melvyn Bragg arts programme; all flares. and cOiffured hairli as well as collages by Jakob Kolding. Kolding's work is a response to the ideas Of psychologist RD. Laing. who initiated
MIXED MEDIA FOR ONCE, THEN,
SOMETHING Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, until
Sat 31 Mar .0
This is an exhibition organised on the premise that narrative continues to be of importance to contemporahy artists. StOrytelling, however. suggests communication and it is hard to see how most Of these artists achieve that. It is the catalogue that does most of the narrating.
Alexander Braun's photographs and films Of a felt man asleep in bed are frustratingly confusmg until we read that the image is based on the myth of Endymion. the yOuth who chose eternal life in a state of sleep in preference to
Our Routes (detail) by Toby Paterson
man, expeiinwits into the treatment of the mentali, ill.
l‘ Paterson and l owlei maintain an obxious link with the real world. Clare Stephenson's were a blatik plinth grained wood and a neon iight ~ is obtuse in the extreii‘ie and seven; the connecting link [Elsewhere Lolly Rattv‘s geometric, polished sculptural variations on a theme are formal, while Clare \"Joods' crisply executed. enamel paintings are decorative.
Beyond successfully manages to slice away the final few scraps of flesh hanging off the spotless. three-headed cadaver of modernist art. architecture and design. ltJohn Beagles)
selecting his own manner of death. Likewise. Hans Waanders' photographs of riverside landscapes and his printed stamps of kingfisher eyes.
Otiite what John Chilver's schematic drawings are supposed to do with narrative not even the catalogue seems to be sure about.
Patricia Ellis' folk style paintings at least indicate that art has the potential to communicate .flf3llfllly. The clutter of consumer durables. the stereotypes of the high school hunk and relics from her native Ontario. are both autobiograpliical stories and reflections on contemporary society. All this leads to an interesting question: has the exhibition catalogue now become the real art object?
MATT LAVER - TRANSFORMISM Royal Society Of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, until Fri 9 Mar 000.
We have all seen them. those immaCuIately designed interiors with not a cushion out Of place. bUildings so pristine yOu could eat your dinner off them. But these spaces more Often than not inhabit the fantaSyland of glossy magazines rather than reality.
Freelance architectural and interior photographer Matt Laver is acutely aware of the way photography is Often less about recording space as it is than creating. designing and enhanCing it through framing, lighting and postproduction effects.
In this his fourth solo show. Lave-r has fabricated spaces out of a montage of up to twelve different architectural images. digitally sewn together to make a convincing whole. DeSigned tO be read individually or as a cycle. the six photographs are intended as a meditation on the gradual evolution of moral and social relations.
The problem is. Salgado claims to be a photojournalist and his subjects are amputees caught mid hop, burnt corpses and poverty-stricken workers in gold mines and tea plantations. Salgado doesn't document the travails of these peOpIe. though, he fetishises them. makes gorgeous glamOrOus images out Of horrible agonies and treats a dying child like eye-candy for the viewer to drool over. There is. needless to say. something profoundly unsettling about admiring the sunlight filtered through the branches of a tree when it is cast onto starving refugees. or the way Salgado
78 THE LIST 1-15 Mar 2000
has captured the glitter of ore on the face of a gold-miner who probably died Of mercury poisoning years ago.
Maybe Salgado means to foster understanding by representing these horrors using the grammar Of Hollywood cinema and fashion photography. but in the end he is no better than a mine- Owner exploiting his workers; Salgado makes visual gold dust from the suffering of others. (Jack Mottram)
Beginning with a space that combines a Gothic cathedral with the interior of a fashion shop. Laver examines the evolution of society from religion through to consumerism and technology tO environmentalism and minimalism and finally back tO religion'.
Perhaps what is more powerful than this. however. is the images themselves that are both hauntingly beautiful and deeply Sinister. iDonna Conwelli
Matt Laver’s fabricated spaces