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WALLBASED INSTALLATION NIC
Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Sat 29 Sep—Sat 24 Nov.
Swiss artist Nic Hess takes images that are both the most powerful and the most trivial, everyday sights, bending them to his own ends. At first glance, this might not seem the most radical approach - artists have appropriated and re- contextualised commercial symbols since Warhol made his name with soup cans — but Hess takes a different tack, weaving narratives from his found symbols.
‘In the best cases of my work, the logos tell new stories,’ says Hess. ‘I take them out of their own place and make new fairytales. There’s a strong narrative, you recognise the brand names or the logos and see that they have changed in character, they have become
more human. For example, there’s a supermarket in Switzerland called Jumbo, and it has a blue elephant- head symbol. In one of my pieces I placed that logo onto the Kappa logo, which is a man and a woman sitting back-to-back, so you end up with this strange
figure, almost from Indian myth.’
These cross-cultural collages, rendered in industrial tape and adhesive vinyl, thrive on bathetic juxtaposition, as Hess plays with scale, shrinking the Matterhorn down to the level of the Nike swoosh, say, pointing out the way we read iconic images while simultaneously divesting them of their original significance. Hess is not a No Logo, anti-capitalist crusader, however, since his work is driven by a near- obsessive enthusiasm for the trademark.
‘l’m always searching for new things for my work,’ he says, ‘but I always come back to the logos, because wherever I go I see them. I’m in Germany right now, and
MIXED MEDIA ILANA HALPERIN
Tramway, Glasgow, until Sun 28 Oct .0.
Hana Halperin takes the grand sweeps of geological science and distils them down to a human, even domestic level. In the past. Halperin has boiled milk for sulphur springs and travelled to stand on the congruence of two tectonic plates. For The Difficulty of Fall/rig in Love During an Earthquake. ' Tramway Dark Lights Commission. Halperin takes something of a step backwards. taking herself out of the frame to adopt a more generic approach.
Halperin is concerned specifically with minor gee-physical events. of the sort often overlooked by the scientific community. These minor earth tremors. instances of subsidence and low-key volcanic eruptions may be small potatoes to your average geophysicist. but Halperin homes in on the impact of these events on the daily lives of those they effect.
Accordingly, it‘s rather a slight, subtle show. There's an impossiny intricate drawing that runs across one wall of Tramway‘s Project Room. consisting of fine, swirling lines that could be a topographical map or data from a st—aismograph. There's a video piece
Installation detail: Quiero Casarme, 2001
watching the television at night I see so many commercials, so many logos, it’s as if these are the things you see most wherever you go. It’s like an addiction almost: I want to reflect that and to see these images in a different way.’
Since his wall collages are based on warping the
familiar, the Fruitmarket is set to be transformed with Hess’s take on Edinburgh’s logoscape. ‘For the show in Edinburgh I will look around for local signs that only Scottish people will know,’ he says. ‘I also work in other ways away from logos, so in Edinburgh I think I will have to work with tartan, and with kilts, because this is the typical Scottish textile. This makes it more interesting for local people, and it also good for me, because once you have used these elements you are always looking for more. Any place I visit is an adventure as I discover new logos, I never know what I will find.’ (Jack Mottram)
Volcano: one of two small striking photographs by llana Halperin
too. that shows two glasses of milk wobbling about on a table. constantly threatening to topple over as unseen hands simulate the tremors of a rather half»hearted earthquake. More obliquely. on a dais in the corner of the room, Halperin presents a rusted antique bath that. every now and then. shoots out a spurt of water from the plughole that subsides to a dull gurgle. though whether this is a reference to the drains backing up in times of crisis or Halperin's design for a domesticated geyser remains unclear. The bath piece
is accompanied by two small. striking photographs of thin streams of lava snaking down the side of a volcano »- the first small sign of the dramatic events Halperin seeks to engage wrth.
All this may well be a means of highlighting the subtle effects of events taking their geological time as opposed to the shock to the human system they prompt. but in the end Halperin's investigation into matters of scant concern to scientists fails to grab the attention of the gallery—goer. (.Jack Motti‘am)
News from the world of art
ARTIST DAVID MACH :3 looking for volunteers in Glasgow to contribute to four 8ft by 4ft collages which WI“ form a portrait of Glasgow as part of an exhibition which will take place at the Gallery of Modern Art in March next year. Mach is looking for active shots of CIélfS‘.’/()§ll£lllf3 Inot portrait shots). recent or old colour photographs. Send your snaps to: I)avrd Mach exhibition. Gallery Of Modern Art, Queen Street. Glasgow. GI (SN. Photographs cannot be returned and inclusion is not guaranteed.
ANTHONY D’OFFAY, ONE of Britain’s leading contemporary art dealers recently announced his retirement at the age of 61, resulting in the closure of the Anthony d’Offay galleries in London’s Dering Street with effect from 31 December. Famed for bringing star exhibitions to his gallery, D’Offay represents Rachel Whiteread, Ron Mueuk, and Howard Hodgkin. The recent Bill Viola show attracted 50,000 visitors which helped fund Whiteread’s Monument in Trafalgar Square. There is much speculation as to why D’Offay has chosen to retire early when his business is doing so well but D’Offay said: ‘l’m 62 in January and not getting any younger. There is never a good time to announce one’s retirement but I would rather step down when the gallery is at its height and I feel that now is the right moment.’
New works by Glasgow’s Roderick Buchanan
GI ASGOW HORN HODI- IIIGK Buchanan's first exhibition at
I ondon's l sson Gallery opens on '20 September. I xploring themes of identity and community through the powerful motif of sport. his/(re out features a series of new \’l(l(}() installation and photographic pieces. including work made with I diiiburgh's premier baseball club. Buchanan ipictuiedi was the first recipient of the Beck's I utures award and his recent major one person solo show at Dundee Contemporary Art was iecewed to much critical acclaim.
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