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O’SULLIVAN Tramway, Glasgow, Fri 23 Nov-Sun 20 Jan.

Cast your mind back to the anti-drug campaigns of the 803. The stereotypical image was of a spotty-faced, skinny teenager living a life of crime and poverty. Similarly, the HIV/AIDS campaigns led to all sorts of negative images and media sensationalism which not only provided false messages, but information that proved difficult to dislodge. Even children’s TV got involved. Who could forget the controversial Grange Hill storyline involving Zammo, a schoolboy-cum-heroin addict, of 1986?

This representation of drugs is reflected in Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan’s large-scale sculptural installation commissioned specifically for Tramway, the first in a new season of exhibitions devoted to Glasgow- based artists. The duo’s new work HK, as in previous projects, for example The Glamour - an assemblage of rubble, barbed wire and Dan Flavin-style pink neon lights - questions the boundaries of art, by employing objects and images which capture various moments in recent cultural history.

‘Much of our work has an ambivalent relationship with its apparent subject matter,’ say Tatham and O’Sullivan. ‘We try to make work which demonstrates a depth of engagement and a process of distancing at the same time. This is very much the case with HK. The drug theme is


TYPICAL MEN: RECENT PHOTOGRAPHY OF THE MALE BODY BY MEN Gallery Of Modern Art, Glasgow, until Sun 27 Jan 0000

the male form.

’l he first thing that strikes you about 'i‘ypi'ca/ Men -- an overview of recent j)ll()l()gl'£il)liS of men by men is the debt artists working today owe to the past. N-gh on every photograph in the show lac its roots in classical sculpture or re“;;r;us iconography. There is an ovennlt-t:‘ii2:ng sense of familiarity. .'/ll(}lll(:’ the artist is re-working and :iaying ‘ioiitage or reVISIng and re- ~',-\./a|uater:g the images that define the .vay we look at the male body.

Of (X are. this does not mean that a .vealth at different approaches aren't representerl here. The show is divided rnm lornx; groupings, some rather ilflllllxlfiilllly titled >- The Perils: Swag of .1 /e::/i e! Symbol of Power? seems a little over “1‘: top that attempt to gwde the

84 THE LIST '25) '29 Nov 2001

Viewer through the concerns of contemporary photographers tackling

From the off. that debt to the long history of the male nude is made plain. Arthur Tress's Man With C/assica/ Statue is a blunt engagement with scdpture. with a leaping man aping the pose of a minor Greek deity. Others prefer to rail against received notions of perfection. creating near-abstractions from unlikely angles. or celebrating the beauty to be found in unconventional bodies.

There are jokes too: Edward LUCIe- Smith's contribution Untitled (Man With Cast of Michelangelo 's Day/d) is a louche top-shelf close—up. the model's modesty preserved wrth a rather lewd gold cast. The iconographic tradition is played wrth too. thanks to Hans Van Manen's Pi'eta: Se/f Portrait With Thi/s Westerbeek van Eerton. where Manen plays a shocked Mary. as if Van Eerton's prone Christ fell from the heavens unannounced.

As an introduction to current work on

Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan’s previous installation The Glamour, 2000

something out there but not something we’re involved in. It’s about disrupting traditional assumptions about artistic authorship.’

Sited in Tramway’s main gallery, HK has involved a much wider collaboration. As well as working with Tramway’s technicians, designers and council staff, Tatham and O’Sullivan have been talking to people with first-hand experience of drug addiction. Their experiences will form part of the sculpture, shown in the form of transcribed interviews.

‘The anti-drug campaigns were very iconic and in that sense they fail,’ they say. ‘Drugs, and in particular heroin, crosses the whole range of interpretative systems, from the political, the economic, the social, the psychological and the biological.

‘The work is a sculpture in a gallery which can be looked at and means something in relation to art history and in relation to broader cultural issues,’ they add. ‘I guess we’re interested in exploring the classic art/life clash. Real experience versus mediated experience.’

Considering the sheer size of Tramway’s main gallery, creating work for the space hasn’t appeared to put them off. ‘There were things we wanted to explore in terms of art history and the public sphere which could only be done on such a scale,’ they say. ‘This is just an amazing opportunity for us. The problem in terms of scale is where to go next. We’ll probably have to go out into the hills!’ (Helen Monaghan)

Spinal Tap, New York, 1996 by Arthur Tress

the male form. its hard to fault Typica/ Men: it manages to fulfil its remit thoroughly, raising and tackling Questions about one of arts oldest traditions.

(Jack Mottram)



News from the world of art


speCuIation as to who will take over as director at Dundee Contemporary Arts. it was announced last month that Faith Liddel. the former director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival (1997—2000. ‘.'.’ll| be Succeeding Andrew Nairne. Since leaving the Book Festival. Liddel has been involved in a range of projects. including the development of a Playwrights“ Studio for Scotland. Liddel said of her appointment: ‘I am enormously excited at the prospect of taking over as director and am delighted to have the oppOrtunity to contribute to the development of an organisation which has become a major creative and educational force in the Scottish and international cultural scene.‘

Faith Liddel takes over as the DCA’s new director

SENSE SCOTLAND’S 5TH Helen Keller Art Awards were launched this week at Glasgow’s People’s Palace. The competition, open to professional, non- professional, disabled and non-disabled artists, awards the winner a prize of £1000 for the most inspiring submission on the subject of deafblindness. Entrants can submit more than one piece of work in any medium. For more information, log on to the website www.helenkelleraward.com or write to Sense Scotland, 5th Floor, 45 Finnieston Street, Clydeway Centre, Glasgow, G3 8JU. Tel: 0141 564 2444. Closing date for applications is 31 January 2002.

AND WITH TWO OF Edinburgh’s studios for artists under threat of closure \“.’ASPS in Stockbridge and Out of the Blues Bongo Club and Nev. Street complex a one day seminar A Square / oof.‘ C.'eat.ve Spaces In The Csti' ‘.'.ul| take place at the City Art Centre on luesdai, 27‘ November to discuss the provision for artists. craftspeople and musicians in the city lo take part call Out of the Blue on (ihil 5:36 520-2. See also Art listings.