INSTALLATION ABSOLUT ART HOLES The Lighthouse, Glasgow, Fri 12 Jul-Sun 4 Aug
Absolut Art Holes? Over 185 only? Balls, pants, jugs and beavers? Scenes straight from a Soho shop front or the latest contemporary art exhibition at the Lighthouse?
Absolut Art Holes is an exhibition in the form of
a crazy golf course with ‘holes’ designed by artists including Sarah Lucas (guess where the jugs and beavers come in?) and Billy Childish. Co-created and curated by The Idler magazine and alcohol brand Absolut, the exhibition continues Absolut’s association with ‘art advertising’ since its first project with Andy Warhol’s interpretation of the Absolut bottle in the 19805. The company, which has consistently commissioned high-profile names such as
Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili and Helmut Newton, will
also be unveiling their latest commission, the design of hole number five by Glasgow-based Roderick Buchanan.
Crazy golf has always been an odd phenomenon, peculiarly British in character and reminiscent of faded seaside towns, windswept follies and the garish surrealism of Portmeirion. There are two ways to approach this exhibition: you either lighten up, swathe yourself in the latest ironic golfwear and pick up your score card, clubs and balls or run away in horror at the sheer ‘kooky-wacky-quirkiness’ of it all. Absolut Art Holes takes the idea of hands-on, interactive exhibitions to a new level as visitors are encouraged to actually play the game.
The artists, selected in conjunction with The Idler, were asked to create a crazy golf hole design which would be ‘creative, simple and
different’. Zodiac Mindwarp’s Mark Manning has designed Vortex, described as a ‘spiralling vortex masterpiece’ while Andrew Mania’s Yetiscape consists of a Hansel and Gretel-style cottage complete with its own yeti. Despite the risque title, Sarah Lucas’ Two Jugs and a Beaver hole is made up of two pint jugs into which the ball must roll after being teed off from a plaster beaver’s tail, while Dambusters by Billy Childish comes complete with Lancaster bomber and water feature. The unfortunately named Abigail Fallis
Absolut’s art hole
invites participants to ‘get the balls into the Union Jack Y-fronts’: just the thing for whiling away a genteel Sunday afternoon’s gallery-going.
Whether or not the exhibition is ‘exciting, innovative or creative’ or a pile of absolute art holes remains to be discovered. Swinging a club and thrashing the hell out of contemporary art may suit a large percentage of the population anyway, so there is quite literally something for everyone, whatever your artistic tastes. (Susannah Thompson)
MINIMALIST PAINTING JAMES HUGONIN lngleby Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 20 Jul .00
You know that feeling when you've had too much to drinlo smoke and yOli close yOur eyes for a second and pastel grids flash onto the inside of your eyelids? Well James Hugonin has got two rooms of those memories for you at the lngleby Gallery. Hugonin was born in COunty Durham in 1950 but has worked near Wooler in the beautiful CheViot Hills since 1986. He works with tiny rectangles of close-toned COIOUr painted directly onto an underlying grid. Each mark shifts subtlety from its neighb0ur thus building a rhythmic whole. In other words he is anal minimalism
94 THE LIST «’1 71“, Jo 1/7.)?
Some artists thrive on prolific promiscuity (Dali. Ernst and Picasso come to mind) and some on minimalist hesitation. As you may have guessed. Hugonin is in the latter camp. His large cellular paintings generally take him about a year a piece. They are unfortunately quite difficult to tell apart but their influence on a gallery space in creating a sense of stillness and peace is undeniable.
As With many artists before him. Hugonin's theme is our obsession with continual change. His work is meticulous in a very graphic cold way with an emphasis on yellows. orange. baby blues and ochre reds.
All the works are simply called Untitled followed by a number in brackets. It is fairly pointless talking about individual paintings as the desired effect of Hugonin‘s work may just be cumulative but Unfit/ed (VIII) 7997 with its unique rippling effect rising through the body of the canvas is possibly the most successful stand alone piece. Some of the smaller studies in the hallway of the gallery (on loan from a private collection in Glasgow) are also miniature works of patience and perseverance. Generally though this is battling or hypnotic depending on your taste and mood. (Paul Dale)
CLAUDINE HARTZEL: PLAYING DICE WITH THE UNIVERSE
Street Level, Glasgow, until Sat 20 Jul 0000
Explorations of photography’s myth-making capacity
More than anything else Playing Dice with the Universe is a show abOut the photograph. More precisely. Claudine Hartzel is playing with ideas of photographic truth. representations of reality. and memory.
From the moment you step into the gallery. y0u find Hartzel flagging up photography's myth-making capaCity. The first space is cast into darkness. with the walls lit up with projections of fairytale white picket fences that call to mind both faded snapshots and Technicolor fantasy. Quite Simply. Hartzel has taken real images to create an unreal world.
The second gallery homes in on photography‘s relationship with science. Out of the gloom of the fairytale installation. there are what appears to be photographs of space. planetarium images of gas giants. galaXies and nebulae and the sort of thing NASA proudly releases to trumpet the success of its latest mission. Up close. these dOCuments are nothing of the sort. Instead. Hartzel IS mapping an imagined night sky. sometimes spelling out short phrases from false constellations, sometimes overlaying her charts With bold arrows. as if to say: ‘You are here'. pos:tioning the Viewer slap—bang in the middle of a made up universe.
There are self-portraits too. These are glossy. bleached out and airbrushed; Hartzel re-casts herself as spokesmodei for some unnamed product er the latest anodyne pop ingenue. Like the space images. these are challenges to photography- as-reality. tackling the ViSual language of advertising where the star maps blur scientific truth With tropes from astrology. Hartzel succeeds here thanks to her knack for making the conceptual téte-a-tete With her medium an engrossing one.
Playing Dice with the Universe is not just a dry tangle with the ISSUES surrounding photographic practice. it's an engrossmg show, and a playful one that manages at the same time to be an eloquent investigation into the way we interact With the photograph. (Jack Mottrami