Crack dens and V-necks
KEITH COVENTRY goes for prostitute junkies. KEITH FARQUHAR prefers gentlemen’s knitwear. So how can they possibly share a room?
..'r.ios;: Jack Mottram
hen two artists show their work in one space. it is reasonable to expect sortie level of connection. if not collaboration. between them. But when doggerfisher‘s latest exhibition opens. visitors will be confronted by dual solo shows that. for the artists themselves at least. are in opposition. liirst there’s Keith Coventry. The London-based artist has long explored facets of urban life. from football violence to the Brixton riots. and more recently focusing on the council estates around his studio. ‘In the show there are four large black and white photographic silkscreen prints.~ says (‘oventry. '()ne is the interior of a van which became a crack den — it used to he my van until someone took it over outside my studio — then there's a picture of some
crack. ()ne of some crack pipes and then one of
three girls. who are homeless prostitutes smoking ll.
He continues: ‘I like the idea of crack because of the way that people view art at the moment. It has to be self-explanatory. shouldn't have any footnotes and all the information is in the piece and you can get it in twenty seconds. People just want to consume art and then once it‘s consumed they want more..
While (‘oventry has work in place. and that work is distinctly born of the conceptual. his fellow exhibitor and comparative newcomer. l.eith— born Keith l-‘arquhar. deals in process. continually reworking his ideas and placing the emphasis on the objects he installs.
78 THE LIST " "'- iirl .’
‘I like the idea of crack because of the way that people view art at the moment’
North British Hotel by Keith Farquhar
"l‘here‘s nothing cut and dried with my work.‘ says l‘arquhar. ‘lt's not conceptual art. There is a lot of editing and a lot of failure. I always have to take the long way round and try not to use what I would call applied effects: knowing what the art is going to look like before I make it. I always go back to the primitive. to ask myself: "Does this object work in the space?" My work is very
intuitive. l have to remain a step ahead of myself
and you have to take these steps where you might fail.‘
That said. both artists are rooted in the domestic. drawing on their surroundings. While (‘oventry addresses urban malaise. for l’arquhar. this means painting the firework displays that accompany any city-wide celebration in lidinburgh or working with the most familiar of objects. like the V—neck sweater.
‘l‘ve been cutting up V-neck jumpers.~ he says. ‘and that‘s getting more and more refined. I asked in the press release for my last show. “ls folding a
jumper a sculpture?" and it has got to the stage
where I‘m using jumper-folding to make sculpture. I’m also working on men‘s V-neck jumpers which have cat logos on them. trying to problemise Scottish patriarchy. taking these men‘s sweaters and softening and feminising them.”
He adds: "l‘he firework display paintings are a reaction to organised. objectified cultural celebrations you get in lidinburgh. This isn’t a negative thing. and the paintings I make have to work in themselves. like watching a fireworks display they have to have some sense of the spectacle.‘
It remains to be seen how viewers will take the clash of these two very different approaches and objectives in making art. For l‘arquhar. (‘oventry is 'doing almost exactly the opposite of what I am doing'. and (‘oventi'y claims that l"arquhar"s work is ‘qtrite the opposite~ of his own. It seems. however. that even though efforts have been made to present the two bodies of work separately — l‘arquhar had hoped to construct a wall of Weetabix bricks dividing the space. but to no avail the two-in—one show‘s strength will be in the
juxtaposition of the pair's current work.
Keith Coventry and Keith Farquhar are at doggerfisher, Edinburgh, Thu 7 Feb-Sat 23 Mar.
News from the world of art
Al2 I ISIS ()HRISI‘INI: BORLAND. l <7..=s-::- l lepkii‘s anti \r'Vendy' h'itii‘riaf'tx) were among the ‘:>I..€:-:>-::ri recipients to receive a
. \f‘riiil Seottsh Arts COtinCil (Z'eazge Seotiand Award. The a'.'.a':i '.'.'lll enable the artists to (2!-:3£1'.-i‘: a ".(3.'.’ "iaior work. develop tine-r skiils or to more their work in a neu'; direction. liirner Prize I‘.()"‘ri't‘.}(}. [Serrano proposes to hane a tennatue input into a new (1(3":ti‘<;~ for BIO'WOfllCal Ethics at ii‘t: iJ"|.(}"ES 0" Glasgow. li:>;:'<zri:; p ans to travel to Orkney i‘it‘il Iceland to expiore the topographical features of the area to p'::<i.i::e a new vody of work ano Ivlclvlwdo's photographic preys-cf will be based arOLind the sup sea wreck sites of the Scapa I ies. rt ()"kney.
HAVING SECURED increased funding for a Scottish presence at the Venice Biennale 2003, the Scottish Arts Council is inviting applications for the post of curator. The successful candidate would not need to be based in Scotland but they must demonstrate a good knowledge of contemporary visual arts practice in Scotland. Expressions of interest should be submitted to the SAC on or before Monday 11 February. For more information email email@example.com g.uk or call 0131 226 6051.
(2: ASGO‘J.’ SCHOOL OF ART st'..:renf .J:"i Ramsay '.'.'on the
’9 ‘ .‘LIiii (litstarrang Regional
i a'. tit-:2 Hunting Art Pri7e """ " 'a'as fast .'.'eek. His (ta 7“. rig; Space pictured; is. as iiamsa, tie:;<:r‘zl:es. 'a personal
reaction :0 the look and feet of cases r\(23;153gi(>‘.'.”. The overall
' 11-;2' :s‘ t"e prize was London- t);‘:’:;(:(t art's: Nicholas Archer. You (it‘il‘. see "tor-:3 :>t’ Ramsay '1; work a‘. (Basses. ‘2; I ree Gallery from
pace by Jim Ramsay
AND FINALLY, LORNA McIntosh is the winner of the 2002 Alastair Salvesen Art Scholarship prize which will enable her to travel with a prize fund of £10,000 and a solo exhibition will be mounted by the Royal Scottish Academy in November.