The Changing Room, Stirling, until Sat 21 Dec .00.

As if heralding the return of the illustrious Alan Partridge to our screens, Keith Farquhar’s medium of choice, the knitted jumper, is employed to dramatic effect atop padded, altar-like plinths. He combines the pseudo-ritualistic imagery of The East (Edinburgh and Japan) to form the scene of a horrible accident which began in Watt Brothers and ended, tragically, in a dodgy pub in Leith.

Red V-necked figures brandishing golf clubs lie twisted amid the charred remains of several packets of Walkers in ceremonial ashtrays. On the floor, the tiny escapees of the carnage rest against the pillar for support, while a Japanese Begbie commits hari-kari with a bejewelled dagger, spilling black, black blood over his designer knitwear.

Elsewhere, gazing down like a beneficent blue Madonna, a framed and mounted 2D lady wearing a big bell skirt and Louise Brooks bob coquettishly cups her breasts. Farquhar’s imagery may verge on the infantile, but his comedy is far from lightweight in its disarming, clever absurdity.

Meanwhile, Katy Dove layers animated film, a fluttering kaleidoscope of faded candy- coloured motifs, over a fast-moving


LIGHT INS'IAI IATION COLOURS: ADAM BARKER-MILL Sleeper, Edinburgh, until Mon 23 Dec 0000.

There's alway s sontething (ltlliO exciting about entering the Sleeper. You nozer know what to expect. Leading exponent in light-basm ‘.'.'orks. Adam Barker-Mill has created a new wall and x'iithirt it. he has cut out a circle. MiXing up a limited palette of colours. a circle of light Illtlll‘llléliC‘S the space. It ebbs and flout/s with a sequence of changing colours. Sometimes the circle looks flat. son‘etimes tlvee-drmensronal. As you stand ltéll‘SllXOfl. a niultitude of images appear. The black and white IZOIY‘lDIIIleIOI‘ is .‘(BII‘IIIISCC‘III of a cartoon eyeball. The green and me looks like a olive stuffed with a pepper. There's a giant l)<)‘.‘.’l:llg hall and an eclipse. Intense purples merge into VIOlCl blues. Stiritptuous reds evoke a spectacular sunset.

Lasting around 20 minutes. Colours is mesmerising, benefiting greatly itOll‘ the \.'rirido\.'».iless space. It is also very peaceful. a vrsual spectrum that takes you to another world. Siii‘ple I" forn‘. the piece is full of surprises. There is no apparent sequence the colour combinatiOns seem to be different even; time. Barker-Mill has created a beautiful. ethereal installatior‘. and like his prGViOLis shows at lnverleith House in 1997 and as part of Northern Lights at the Fruitvitgirket Galleny. this is an experience not to be missed. {Heler‘ Monaghan:

Barker-Mill’s beautiful light installation

leafy landscape. She soaks the shapes and colours in whimsy and nostalgia, lifted straight from the blanket or tablecloth of a 705 kids TV drama. But both the scrappy, felt-tipped stills pinned to the gallery wall and the animation itself resist the irritating, contrived cutesiness of ‘kiddult’ retro. The Rush is lovely - it’s pretty, but

Mary Redmond’s Bo stands alone, an abstracted Harmony in Yellow and Gold for the 21 st century aesthete. Apparently introspective and austere, Bo leans towards a contradiction in terms: pared-down baroque. She allows the restrained

Detail of Starlit by Keith Farquhar

flourishes in shape to be usurped by an arrangement of utterly sensuous, tactile materials - semi-translucent horn, polished wood, shiny metal - self-assured and aloof.

Raydale Dower’s mixed media wall collage takes a bit of perusing. If you are happy with the ideas you project onto the work - fine. If not, it may help to know that Dower has painstakingly recomposed an impressive archive of ephemera previously in situ on his kitchen wall. Intenser personal, the work tracks the passing infatuations and distracted interventions of the many transient occupants of his Glasgow flat. (Susannah Thompson)

The Present, 2001 (still)


Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, until Sun 12 Jan 0...

Finland. the land of milk and madness and home to one truly great filmmaker. Aki Kaurismaki. and one truly great photographer. Sirkka-Liisa Kottinen. In between the two of them. there is the unfathomable. weird and downright funny work of Eija-Liisa Ahtila.

Born in 1959 in Hameenlinna. Ahtila now lives and works in Helsinki and this is a rare chance to see her work. Her basic remit is to investigate various individuals psychosis with a view to recreating these tales of ordinary madness in technically superior vignette movies. that work on cyclical time-based formats.

The exhibition opens weakly with the Assistant series of r.)hotographs. which are fairly uninspiring pre-production snaps for her film work. What follows however is excellent: the Present. Today and Me/We, Okay, Gray show an artist working at full pelt devouring Roman Polanski's Repu/sion and recreating it in tiny incremental steps.

Everything is about allusion and perspective. and by looping and formatising her short films Ahtila comes as close as anyone to defining compulsive obsessions. The best piece here. however. is in Gallery 2: Consolation Servrce is a crazy dual screen 24min film that investigates themes of reconciliation and death in very odd way. It shines brighter than a Dirk Powell/June Allyson mu8ical. whose film posters litter the film among other irrelevancies. Ahtila herself is clearly a fan. (Paul Dale)



lnverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, until Sun 22 Dec 000

‘Burnt dishwater, the once soothing touch of calamine lotion and hundreds and thousands on bread and butter' this is just one of the poetic sentences that Kevin Henderson uses to narrate a muddled narrative that encompasses a ripped leather jacket. a black door resting on two chairs. stacks of bricks and 13 paragraphs from the novel Jealousy by Alan Robbe-Grillet. that go on about 22 and 23 banana trees not in true trapezoid. Ultimately confusing, especially when viewed with the rest of the exhibition that includes a drawing of carpet under felt and a homage to Bauhaus. dadaism and surrealism. But the point of any exhibition is to make your own sense of it. if indeed you want to. Thus ‘burnt dishwater' etc evokes old childhood memories before industrial strength Fairy. factor 30 and processed gunk. I understand now.

Installation by Kevin Henderson

The award for best room in the exhibition goes to the ‘Shoeshine' room. A railway sleeper sits in the middle of

the room with tins of black

and oxblood red shoe polish. The scene is supposed to highlight the discrepancy in the exchange of labour but the inanimate picture activates a romantic polished image. Blame it on the movies. The walls in this room are covered with over 360 photographs of a wishing well just outside lnverness. If you drink from the well you must leave behind a scrap of clothing. This place in reality is Quite unbelievable and very spooky. Jumpers. shoes. scarves. hats and stripes of cloth are laced along branches. New is mixed with the old and decaying. Henderson acuter evokes the eerie etherealness of the place.

This exhibition is a mixed bag but worth a visit. (Isabella Weir)

28 Nov—l2 Dec 2002 THE LIST 77