DAVID SHERRY Collective Gallery, Edinburgh. Sat 1—Sun 30 Mar

He stitched blocks of wood to the soles of his feet, dressed up as an old lady smiling at everyone he met and carried a bucket of water for about a week. Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of performance artist David Sherry.

For his forthcoming show at the Collective Gallery, the Northern Irish artist will be showing Umbilical Cord, a video piece about two men attached to each other by an umbilical cord. They talk about the benefits of their mutual blood supply and about how good it is that one can sleep while the other can stay awake and do more work on his laptop.

‘It’s a farcical interview.’ says Glasgow-based Sherry. “These two guys are doing this really stupid thing but they are really

serious about getting the most out

of their lives. The piece is influenced by things like blood doping that occurs in athletics. People inject themselves with blood to get a better performance. It is also influenced by images you see of mice with ears growing out of their backs, all the crazy stuff that you

see going on.’

This ironic approach to Sherry’s work is typical. He injects a healthy dose of humour into his work while addressing more serious matters. In his infamous piece Stitching where he took a needle and thread to his feet (or perhaps it was a prosthetic trick) to sew on foot-shaped bits of wood, the nonchalant delivery of the narrative gave it a daytime TV feel. Similar to performance and body art of the 60$ and 70$, he used his body as the raw material for expression, sending up social convention and the nonsensical aspects of

the human condition.

‘On the one hand people think I’m barking mad but on the other hand people question what is actually

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going on in the piece,’ says Sherry. ‘I think there are two sides to the piece and that is what has made the work that much more interesting to people.‘

Stitching and other works such as Serial Psycho Interviewee where Sherry attends job interviews pretending to be a genuine applicant have got him noticed. He has been shortlisted for this year’s Beck’s Futures and he is part of the group of artists who will be creating flyers and web-based work for the Venice Biennale.

As well as working in performance, Sherry creates drawings and sketches and his first collection of works was published recently. This part of his practice

is integral, fuelling ideas for future performance works.

‘I try to keep it as broad as possible just to entertain myself,’ says Sherry. ‘I don’t want to be a miserable bugger. If I can come up with one or two ideas in a day or something that I think is useful or interesting then it’s been a good day.‘ (Helen Monaghan)

Roas Bank by James Norton


News from the i'. 01/0 of art

BAILLIE GIFFORD recently launched a student photography competition offering cash prizes of £1000. £500 and £300. Open to all students registered at a Scottish university/college. the brief of the competition is to capture the company's aspired values of ‘innovation. accessibility, continuity and tradition‘. Deadline is 1 May. For more information www.bailliegifford.com or call 0131 222 4193.

EDINBURGH College of Art students recently took over the Roxy Art Centre on Roxburgh Place for an exhibition of recent work. From lightboxes and sculpture to paintings and video installations, the students made great use of the former church’s surroundings creating an innovative show which was full of surprises. See Art listings for details of an event taking place at Portbello Beach.

Whistler goes online

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