The world may have caved in on New Yorkers last month but as

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it happened. I was just up. my boyfriend came back from the deli saying: ‘Put on the TV! A plane has just crashed into the World Trade Centre!’ By the time the TV was on. another had hit. and it was obvious that this was no freak accident.

Across the world we all sat numny as the buildings seemed to sink in slow-motion towards the ground. and real-life action-movie scenes bombarded our screens. The continual footage made everything increasingly surreal. but the second I walked outside. I was met with a thousand pedestrians all making their way as far north as they could get. From my roof I

UKwithNY proves, cultural life goes on. Words: Claire Mitchell

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part of the wider UKwithNY festival. ‘There is a sense of humour that goes through Glasgow art: it's a dark. sinister kind of humour. but also a kind of stupid. silly way and very different from the black-clad New York cynicism.’

And that is probably why the art in the exhibition seems so fitting at this particular time: it‘s the kind of lower- them-in-gently treatment that New York needs. And even though the artists come from every corner of the globe from Glasgow to the US. from Singapore to Iceland. and from Mauritius to Belgium all the work is shot through with wry Glasgow humour.

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representing Scotland: there is Diplomatic Immunity. alongside GSA‘s Visual Communication media-fest MetaMétier; New York will be the first recipient of a new opera on Charles Rennie Mackintosh; and there will be a series of FiImFour screenings, including the previously-subtitled- for-an—American-audience Trainspotting; as well as Begbie and the boys. the Edinburgh Film Festival will be making a foray over the pond. including the Scottish award-winning film Gas Attack by director Kenny Glenaan.

‘The festival is a mark for unity, and how things should be from now on’

could see a pillar of black smoke where the tips of the building had once been. and for the next two weeks I was going to come across a multitude of heartbreaking missing posters. and breathe in that burning. dusty air. Everything was so very real.

New York has always been a hard-paced. hard-working place: people now are more aware of what they are doing. More time is being taken. everyone jumps when a siren goes and I almost miss the horn-happiness of the taxi drivers. The anger of the city has gone. but along with it its party—town soul.

‘It is difficult to tell when things will be allowed to be frivolous again.‘ says New Yorker Jill Epstein. a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art MFA program. She is involved in the School ofArts trans~Atlantic MFA show. which was originally shown ill Glasgow's Tramway over the summer. With the addition of some PhD and fellowship students. including Clare Barclay. it has become Diplomatic Immunity.

24 THE LIST 4—18 Oct 2001

Shelley Clarke. the NYC PR person for the festival. was the first to let me know that things were definitely going ahead. ‘The whole thing has changed in context and there is. strangely. a much better feel about the whole festival now.’ Originally called UKinNY. the festival was given a new moniker more fitting to the attitudes and relationship between the UK and the US since September llth: hundreds of British people also died in this horrific terrorist attack. Shelley felt that ‘before. there was this sense of "Watch Out! The British are coming!" But now. the festival is a mark for unity. and how things should be from now on in.‘

Three years in the making. the festival was originally a retail project. which grew into a fully-fledged festival involving the arts. business. travel. retail. and community outreach. There are over 200 events citywide. with quite a few

Then of course there is the food; New Yorkers may balk at the thought of their beloved pizza being thrown into the deep-fryer. but I am certain they will appreciate the dulcet tones of Gordon Ramsay and Clarissa Dickson Wright when they present their cooking demonstrations in Macys and in the Waldorf Astoria.

Maybe from now on the stereotypes will be dropped; we won't be tam 0’ shanter-donning haggis-munchers, whilst the Americans will lose that brash demanding edge. But I have a feeling that they will always be loud.

UKwithNY, Sun 14-28 Oct, throughout New York. Website