Royal Museum, Edinburgh, until Sun 2 Feb 0...

videogames’, Game On makes some bold claims indeed. Claims it fulfils at many points but falls short on at others.

The exhibition is unnecessarily cleft into two zones - firstly, the historical exhibition and secondly, the sampling of a plethora of games from down the years. An initial frustration is that it’s not possible to cross back and forth between the two. Should you wish to revisit earlier exhibits - and that may be the case when the second zone gets packed out - you can’t.

Layout gripes aside, Game On makes good of its problematic remit to appeal to both big kids and little kids as it strikes a balance between the playable and the insightful. Tracing gaming’s growth from scientists’ playthings to a multi-million pound industry, it gives insight into the planning, development, music and characters of many leading titles. Video games’ effect on contemporary society could justify



National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sun 9 Feb 0..

It was a myth that shattered the romantic dream of Scotland. James MacPherson‘s 18th century translations of an ancient Celtic poet. Ossian. were dramatically and shamefully exposed as fakes. Havrng been received to great critical acclaim. the unearthed relics of a Celtic past had conned the literary world. Or so it was thought. Now, folk aren't so sure.

Calum Colvin's latest exhibition explores the confusion in Scotland's relationship wrth its past. With his characteristic technique. large» scale scenes are constructed. painted upon. photographed and digitally printed onto canvas. Crumbling ruins bare the trace of Blind Ossra/i in a series of the same name. Eventually the face disappears. Similarly in Fragments /~\//// a transformation and deterioration occurs. A Maori face morphs into that of a 'typical Scotsrnan'. the scene fragments and is destroyed broken by its own myth.

Robert Burns. the radical. politicised poet has been turned by many into a benign national symbol: nicely packaged in pithy epigrains about scared little mice and red rose-like lovers or sewn up in a sheep's bladder. Colvrn's portrait shows this in a portrait that is littered with symbols of naff reductiveness: a red heart-shaped hot water bottle. hand held Saitire. plastic red roses. It is an attempt to expose false romanticism. false nationalism and try to discover some kind of truth ainid all the fragments. lies and legends. Adinir'able and interesting, but not by any means uncharter‘ed territory. the format also suffers from . slight over familiarity.

(Ruth l ledges)

Portrait of Robert Burns, 2001

94 THE LIST fat ()0. 1-: Nu.

a whole exhibition itself, so scant GAME ON referral to its pop culture standing is understandable.

There’s also ample opportunity to to Halo, a truly terrifying, As ‘the history, culture and future of get some visceral hands-on action,

rattle through everything from Space Invaders or the early Atari consoles through Sonic and Mario

simultaneous four-player, fully- interactive shoot-’em-up.

One minor disappointment is that the focus in the majority (except very early on) is on home gaming as opposed to arcade gaming. There’s no reference to Galaxian, Arkanoid, Defender or Gauntlet and other landmarks from the 805 and early 905 when the gaming ante was upped and video games blossomed from cranky and clunky to hyper-real and adrenalised. Maybe I’m just showing my age but without that awkward puberty how can the high points in later life be accurately reflected?

What Game On most shrewdly illustrates however, is how the same fundaments are reworked and developed ad infinitum, the most obvious example being the latest Japanese Ping-Pong game where players swing a bat at a virtual table, an exhibit resting yards away from the grandfather of all games, Atari’s Pong.

A vivid, but oddly incomplete

Atari’s Pong picture. (Mark Robertson)

N55’s Shop

iNSlAl l/\ll()N N55 - SHOP CCA. Glasgow, until Sun 10 Nov 00

A fer; years ago an odd lrttie exert: .'.'as neld at Garnethif (lorr‘rr‘dot, Centre. Cir/e and lame '.'.ras esser‘itiailj, a cashless"l,‘i(3 sare. Ra'tdoi'.‘ selections o" ur‘r:a"tc~d ite'r‘s '.'.rer'e p;ie:l HQ.“ and. other than to bring son‘»::-thr"g aong and take ‘.'.'hat g.ou .'.'arited. l‘t) rules '.'.'ere ap >i=ed.

Nos'sSI‘opuncrkson £1f3!!l‘.ll£‘.l'. aloe-it ir‘or'c- sopT".:sticated princ pie. A terr‘porarj. resource centre has been installed 'n the ga‘iery l)l'()‘.l(illtfl ‘ree access to facilities sucl‘. as sez'ring 'r‘acn':‘.es. kettles. ‘.'l(l(}() and cor‘puter eguiorr‘ent and a iiiy"ar'fi.. lhe 'r‘ai'tstay of It‘s project rests on tl‘e Sr‘op tse:f ~ tl't'lf; containing donated te'r‘s which have all been tagged and colour coded £t(2(2()l‘(liltt} to therr‘ category: consult or use in Me space. norro‘xx. snap or take.

Stops sj.s'.eir‘ati(:. f§il't.<iitl."(3(l approach seerr‘s to under'nvne ts airr‘s x-r'ren compared ‘.'.'r'..". the chaotic disorder of Give arid lake. lr: (iv/e and lake. tire .deological oasis r f' the exer‘t ‘.'.'as supported l)‘, the ‘act that “are par'tit:.par‘ts ras opposeo to the operseer cauators of Show ‘.'.rere forced to take ultimate "espor‘sbilt, ‘cr their ()‘.'.'l‘. “.al..e judgen‘ents'. Till'Otlflf‘: free.

unregulated 'taking' notions of o'.'.'rrershrp and l)l'()l)(}l'1‘,.t id

the pen. 'iatur‘e and oasis of capitalisn‘ ‘.'.'eie re exarrrirred :n a tril, grassroots. and tililll‘itftfl‘, success.” \.'.'a\..

for Shop. Nf>f>'s decrsror‘ to use ‘.|f$ll{ll art as the ‘.(}l‘.l(ll(} of this kind of exairriiiatior‘. is perhaps 'l() less interesting. and has its ()‘.'."‘.. yer, specific concerns ai‘d (:ori‘licts. Nexertheless. as a prcgect dependent or‘. direct rr‘\.o".eir‘er‘t. Shop stands as an experuwn‘t :rt sarr'tised 'adrcalis'r‘ populated b5, r >sen.ed. l>(:.t’_(3. '.i.".(;l"'.'l‘.t: t;;iilt?t’§.{l()t:!i;. Susannah lhorr‘pson


The Travelling Gallery, touring (see Art listings) 0...

Drawing to most people- con;ures up ll‘()ltt()rl(353 of secondary school art homework a still life Stad‘,‘ of a shoe or bottle or as a irrearis for sketchinj dew." ideas. The Travelling Gallery '5; latest touring exhibition. The

r'aizrrrig Room presents ‘.'.rork by artists who use this inediunr as their main form of expression.

Nex'.’ York-eased artist Renatt shows three ‘.'.'or'ks from the series Ten Thousand Things that Bret’i‘t/re. Although iliéilllll‘éilf? objects. an arn‘chair and a pair of pyjan‘a bottc'r‘s. Renato injects life into these ballpoint pen studies. You can sense a human presence n even, mark of the pen. The con“; chair aln‘ost takes on the forn‘ of a hand. beckoning you to sit. Sirr‘iiarlg.. Damd Connearn's line drawings are full are ntoverr‘ent and rife. Meticulousiy he draws a (‘rfimn‘ ink live across the page. repeating rt ‘.'.’|if‘lli the sguare. Vaging in tone. trie textured x'rorks gently turdafate lke ripples td a

STfOlel ‘.

Work by Renato

o‘ £ll‘lfl‘il'.(?(f fré'ns entitled Beaches. Drauzrng. pa"‘tr".g, recording sound and

an rr‘ating on location. \.'.'atercolour fittlttiOf; o‘ State" Bay in Skye i'tEfttXii the changing colours of the lar‘dscape. In Pt ."fooeto. sne captures the true son: 0" tdr‘ourg't's seaside "eso't. Charcoal d'ax'."‘. figures or‘ the beach eating ce crear‘s merge ate the pen"; fails addicted arr‘usen‘eot arcade goes. the c":t chat c” people 'o-'s i"l(3 the ‘ar"-i a' sounds of the ganptzog

inac" r‘es, In P...» .‘§t<"‘t>:;. ii'te ;l'a‘.'. ".is are perined f’:"" ("e rages to Pick .itt stories. l't one :‘a'f cula' 'r‘orr‘ent. an elder \. '.'..>n‘a" bends :lc-.'.i‘ It‘ :‘ "-t' lttZ-ltl‘it? fro": the iteat‘“ Seeiig horse-t as .i ‘,;‘.."g g 'l 'efetttet: .r‘. the sa": twat/t)" Tit l’i'r'X: Li '.-.".t' '.a f'tt‘

-.‘:j.ti-. llee" Mowignar“