Martin Boyce‘s work may have to find a new home in the future
Glasgow prides itself on being a centre of visual arts excellence. So why is one of its key players being sold down the river? Words: Helen Monaghan
he recent news that Glasgow's 'l‘raiiiw‘ay arts centre is to become the
future home of Scottish Ballet sent shockwavcs throughout the \isual
arts community. And rightly so. Just three years alter 'l'ramway received £35m for major refurbisluncnt. Scottish Ballet is seeking extra Lottery funding to transform 'l'ramw'ay 2 - the famed. large-scale exhibition space into rehearsal studios. It plans to turn this most public of spaces into a priyate one.
In a statement. the dance company announced that it was ‘wot'king in close co-ojm'ation with (ilttsgow' (‘ity (‘ouncil and the Scottiin :\l1s (‘ouncil to linalise an agreement'. But why have they chosen 'l‘ramway and why does (ilasgow ('ity (‘ouncil appear to be happy to lose one ol‘ its main visual arts venues'.’
The fact that the council is in dialogue with Scottish Ballet suggests that all is not well at 'l‘ramw‘ay. lts non city—centre location may account for poor attendance figures. btit it also suffers from a lack of investment. marketing and direction. Increased
financial support and the appointment of an overall artistic director would go some way to addressing the situation.
(ilasgow' prides itself on its internationally recognised. thriving visual arts scene. of which 'l‘ramw'ay is a major player. The exhibition space. with its unique l()3(l metre-square area. complete with tram lines and pillars. is well known on the international scene. In historical terms. it premiered Douglas (iordon's 24 Hour I’syr'llr). gave debut solos to (‘hristine Borland and Roderick Buchanan and has attracted high profile international curators.
The acclaimed New York-based curator and art critic. ()kwui linwesoi' brought the international group show .llr'rror's lit/gr to (ilasgow. Marlin Boyce's recent solo show will be shown at the Lyon Biennale. And every year it stages the MFA degree show in partnership with (ilasgow School of .-\l'l. The work of up-and-coming artists is shown in the project room lthis year‘s Beck's l‘utures nominee David Sherry showed Stile/Ill): here) and it consistently commissions artists to produce new work. .-\ll on a budget ol‘ under £l()(l.l)l)().
So where does this leave the visual arts'.’ .-\nd if the proposal is accepted. where does Tramway go‘.’ Scottish Ballet may well need to mme out of its ‘dilapidated' base in West Princes Street bill to oust one artl‘orm to liouse another is ludicrous. The Scottish Arts (‘ouncil and (ililsgtiw (‘ity (‘ouncil have reminded us that this is not yet a ‘done deal‘ and we have to wait until January to learn Tramway's l'uture. Let's hope 'l‘ramw'ay can continue to uphold its reputation and not simply be remembered as a venue that Used to.
10 THE LIST .-_‘—-‘.'.3 0.". AFR
Film Who'd have th0ught that a documentary about spelling competitions could be a contender for film of the year. Well. Jeff Blitz‘s life-affirming feature has managed it. See Film. pages 24 and 25. GFT. Glasgow and F/lmhouse. Ed/nburgh.
2 The Lieutenant of lnishmone Theatre Martin McDonagh. the author of the stupendously successful Beauty Queen of Leenane. wrote this tough RSC tale about sectarianism, torture and cats. See feature, page 12. Theatre Royal, Glasgow.
3 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Games XBox players have been praying for a role-playing game of real substance. and Star Wars buffs have longed for a game to match their love of the Lucas movres. This could be the one. See Games. page 105. XBox.
Records 50 Cent may be in the country. but this is the real hip hop deal. The Atlanta crew makes it a double whammy of delights with Speakerboxxx and The Love Below. See Records. page 103. An‘sta.
5 Derren Brown
TV Kicking off C4's Magic Month (Sunday 5 October). the mind-reading maestro puts David Blaine right in the shade wrth a live Russian Roulette extravaganza. Channel 4.
6 Scottish Ballet
Dance Ashley Page keeps his new troupe stepping in the right direction after a few traumatic years. See Opinion, left, and Theatre, page 68. Tramway, Glasgow.
Film Oliver Stone makes a bold return to form with this impressively raw look at Fidel Castro through the Cuban leader‘s eyes. If you loved Nixon, you‘ll adore this. See feature and Film, pages 18 and 26. Selected release.
8 Fay Godwin
Art One of the UK’s prime photographers shows us her Landmarks. a retrospective of 30 years’ snapping. See Art, page 85. National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh.
9 Kurosawa Collection Video/DVD The Japanese master's range is beautifully highlighted with three new releases from the BFI, the pick probably being Red Beard. See Video/DVD. page 106. BFI.
‘l 0 4I-lero I Clubs The resurrected Bongo Club brings us the pioneers of the early breakbeat scene and purveyors of dark drum & bass. See Clubs. page 83. Bongo Club, Edinburgh.