DALZIEL + SCULLION: STORM
Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Thu 30 Oct—Sun 7 Mar
Since they began working in tandem in 1993, Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion have been inspired by, and investigated, the relationship between man and the natural environment. Their latest work, Storm, is a continuation of this theme, but also something of a departure. Storm draws on a quote by turn of the century environmentalist John Muir, who described nature as ‘a storm of energy, eternally flowing from use to use, from beauty to yet higher beauty.‘
‘We‘re trying to tease out the John Muir quote,‘ Dalziel explains. ‘The first thing is that all these things are interconnected, the second is the kind of beauty that Muir talks about. The idea of beauty tends to be a cultural thing that changes, but he has something interesting to say about the choreography of life itself being an incredibly beautiful thing.‘
In order to explore this choreography of life, Dalziel + Scullion worked closely with botanist Hugh Ingram. ‘We told Hugh that we were interested in reality,‘ says Dalziel. ‘Not just in the sense of what is in front of you, but also the time process that led up to what is in front of you. For instance, one of the images in the piece is of Rannoch Moor, which was created by a glacier, and you can still see that if you have the trained eye for it. Then when the glacier moved off there was a covering of peat, then a covering of forest, which then sank back into the peat. The images we made are quite simple, but they also contain enormous amounts of information about the way these time processes and geological movements created what we see today.‘ These information-rich,
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Dalziel + Scullion explore our place in the natural world with Storm
documentary images are set to be back-projected on a grand scale in the ground floor gallery of GoMA, with one image for each day of the installation. It is here that Storm departs from Dalziel + Scullion‘s recent practice: whereas in the past the duo have relied on juxtaposition to make explicit the conflict between man and his environs, the new piece relies on context rather than contrast. ‘We‘re not so interested in mankind‘s relationship to nature this time,‘ Dalziel admits. ‘We‘re abstracting human beings from the process, we‘re trying to talk about a deeper reality, not the reality we create. It is interesting to have this juxtaposed with this building. The building will become a part of the thought process, so the context serves that function, without us having to explicitly bring that to the images.‘
If Storm represents a slight change of tack for Dalziel + Scullion, it also looks set to continue their long-running exploration of our place in the natural world in typically eloquent fashion, unfolding at a pace suited to the underlying reality they seek to illustrate. (Jack Mottram)
News from the world of art
Communicate at the Royal Museum
CONTEMPORARY SCOTTISH artwork will be heading down the M1 this month to be shown at the Frieze Art Fair in Regent‘s Park, London, 17—20 October. Following in the trail blazers‘ exhaust will bring you to Claire Barclay, Hanneline Visnes, Lucy Skaer and Jonathan Owen as represented by Edinburgh's doggerfisher, plus pieces from Glasgow‘s Transmission and the Modern Institute. www.friezeartfair. com
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TALKING OF TECHNOLOGY. the internet and email have been incredible resources for helping to mobilise support for Tramway‘s threatened visual art space over the last few weeks. So much so that it‘s worth mentioning the website that‘s been set up to co- ordinate the views, opinions and ideas for furthering the campaign: www.topica.com /Iists/tramway and www.ichy fingers.org/sostramway
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