MIXED MEDIA WSIONS FOR THE FUTURE
Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 11 Jan 0..
Round four of this excellent series, now in the mid stage of its four-year tenure, glistens with the exotic and occasionally downright weird. The series is never less than interesting and in some cases, like this one, a hoot
Graham Fagen opens downstairs with three pieces of glorious neon. A Cross, Punk Fuck, Mum and Dad is an interconnected sculpture originally designed for a tattoo shop. Minimalist yet oddly vulgar, the piece is a V sign to those who turn their homes into shrines of timeless modernity. Fagen’s Radio Roselle is a video installation that allegedly examines the connections between Jamaica and Scotland. A young man in bad make-up sits at a mixing desk. l-le DJs his way (badly) through a number of country, reggae and easy listening tunes. There is a Blue Peter boat hanging on the mustard walls and the table is stacked with Scottish literature. Cleverly looped via a vibrant, retro blue phone that calls him on and off the set, this is so silly, it’s hilarious. I laughed like a drain.
Upstairs Victoria Morton is on an abstract vibe and very little is individually labelled so I’ll have to speak in general terms. Morton is fond of maroon backdrops and filthy oranges and much her
DESIGN DESIGNING OURSELVES
Detail of A Cross, Punk Fuck, Mum and Dad by Graham Fagen
But Pleasure and Practice, the
exhibition is gorgeous, especially her work with white backdrops tallied with rich greens, emeralds and cutout reds. Her work is like a pile drive through the collected works of Auerbach, Cézanne and Klee. The free standing panels are very special and you may be tempted to take one home to use as
14-minute sound piece, to be listened in a room that looks like it has been scattered with the leftovers from the set of Dusan Makevejev’s WR: Mysteries of the Organism, is a pompous, rather cheap attempt at meditation divined through avant-garde
a room divide.
Royal Museum, Edinburgh, until Sun 30 Mar 0..
Designing Ourselves is the ideal body shot-x rneels Honrl meets-a bit of 88M. forget saying tor a boring face lift or a set of Shiny teeth instead. have Nike brand you ‘.'.’l°ril its logo. take calls on your molar mobile. think the kettle tr; boil and while the tea brews, t](}ll(}il(lélii\, lll()(ili\, your rilr>rtallt\.'. Where Dolly the sheep leads others \srere sure to loilr The act of transtormrng and perfecting ourselves is split into two camps: the medical and the cosmetic. Ihe medical, which involves genetic modification and rrnplar‘ts. is fascinating; and invaluable but how tar ‘.'./lii it go? Will we all have spare organs in our free/ers to (lelrost when the Others tail? Just one of the questions that this r3x‘t:l>rlr<>r‘ raises as you look at prosthetics and microchips and see
that shiny future tull of perfect humans.
Less serious is the fantastic jean/ellery on rlrsplax, created to emulate or empathise wrth the body. Shaun l eane's
aluminium castings of the backbone and jél‘.‘.’illl(? as costume
jewellery are inventive as is his ()oca (Zola corset. “.‘rhich sits beside Mr Pearl's beautrlul black corset which can only be an instrument of torture. Have you ever thought about mouth fangs or a chin plate instead of lipstick, and how
Piercings designed by Dave Tusk
68 THE LIST 2—16 Jan 2003
about spikes (lots/n your back or a trgjht bod; chain based on lllilil‘JOllUllf, rlnps
. all payable ‘.'.rrth one f;‘.'."ll )e ol your rnrr;ror:hr;>erl thurnb
/\ srnall rjlrr‘ipse ot the tuture ‘.'./here sr:renr:e rules nature and fashion rules everything. Ilsabella Weirr
augmentation. (Paul Dale)
l‘i/IIXI l) Ml l)l/\ HARVEY JACKSON: AND NOW YOU DON’T Street Level, Glasgow, until Sat 25 Jan 0..
'Z's'tar1t "of to ‘::.'“-:: oxer k’e an. I)‘.€Z"~I‘:X'Z‘ teu ml at We tar‘v‘arr .'.'ner‘ ﬁre-:er tl‘ Haw-:5; .Ja<:kso"'s '.'.'ork’. \lr:ar:j. exer‘,
new: "as a button to press
Fun but puzzling
setting a l leath Robinson ’;::."t'aot on ". tl‘()irt)l‘: or niust be \rewed frorr a peculiar .ar‘tagje poznt.
i’I-ii-lt: arr- orojr:ct:ons such as Shimmer. which has a thousand little fish f$.‘.’lll‘ll‘tlltj over the n'ralls. reflected off the surface of a r::sr;o glitter ball. there are illusions. as in fish out o‘ '. 111.3,". I'l .'.'hrclt a long blur of ora"rje on the gallery ‘.'./all Is translarrwxl E'ttr) a strin‘n‘r'ig goldfish when vrex'red through a goal 5;" l:o‘.'.'. Best of all is / oczis [)rstrar:tron_ a (i()ll‘i)lll£lil()ll of ‘i."‘ i'XLIL. orer: sel‘, angled n‘rrr'ors and a table covered xvrth s tucked inside. I" s I-rst '<:ar:tron to Jackson's '.'.'or'k that everything is j()ii\, soon tjl‘.(}53 to pry/lenient as to what lies l:t;~"-r:;ttlt thr: <anter'tarrrn‘ents. Jackson seems to be asking us to think about illusions. ‘.'.’liil the doubling up of visual tricks wrth fitii,'f(?fii ii‘atfer already. .' ssocraterl ‘.'.'Iiil those very vrsual tricks.
rjolil‘rsh bowls. each with a ‘.'.:ine rjlz s
Iherr: also f;t3t?’l‘f; to be a pun on men‘ory at the centre of <1r:'t.riri pieces. ‘.'.’Ilil Ilill‘, loops calling to ll‘llltl the rjolrllrsh's ‘ar"’>u:;'; poor t)()'~.‘.’(}lt; ot recollection. rerntorcerl by the short lusts ol action when a vrsrtor depresses a timer swrtch.
In the end. rt seems best to press another button or peer throurjl‘ another lens rather than dwell too long on the pu//Ie. Mar; r; is a|~.'./ag,s n~ore fun it you don't know how it works. Jack Mottran‘r
DAVID MUSGRAVE/SASKIA OLDE WOLBERS
Transmission, Glasgow, until Sat 18 Jan 0000
Like many artists. David Musgrave invites his viewers to play with signs and signifiers. to invent and project meaning, to indulge in reader-response theory. But Musgrave's intention is that his audience actually play (as in have tun) when negotiating ideas of interpretation and representation of ‘the real’. That's not to say he isn‘t a serious artist. And although Musgrave‘s work pokes fun at theory. in doing so. his work becomes critical. For those familiar with his British Art Show 5 work, the reference points perhaps aren't so obvious (no dissected Snoopy outlines here). The general impression, though. is that Musgrave himself actively enjoys spinning tangential associations in response to his work. In the gloopy Form (Head no 2). we could ask: ‘Is
David Musgrave pokes fun at theory
that ectoplasm on the floor or are you just pleased to see me?’ The title. however. tells us it's a rather unfortunate-looking head - but is the title to be believed? This is Baudrillard through googIe-eyed glasses.
Saskia Olde Wolbers' mesmerising film, Placebo, tells the tragic tale of a lover deceived. A softly spoken. involvrng narrative will always hold the attention, but the impact of the st0ry comes through Wolbers' tluid dreamscape. The Quality of the images suggests computer- aided intervention. but Wolbers has achieved this remarkable melting effect through a hand- made process rnvolving thin metal structures dipped into oil paint floating on the surtace of the water.
A hallucinatory scene. set in an intensrve care ward. evokes the unnervrng sensory slippage that ocCurs between semi- conscrousness and oblivion. In this state. the minutiae of the everyday takes on unbearable resonance. Wolbers' command of her medium is startling, but no less than her grasp of poignant visual metaphor. (Susannah Thompson)