LETTER FROM MEXICO ¢De donde eres? (Escocial... Sometimes it's difficult to maintain a genuine smile when Braveheart and whisky are the only things mentioned on hearing I'm from Scotland. but before coming to try my luck as an artist in Mexico. I don't think I knew much more about the country besides tacos. tequila and sombreros. Now I know a very different Mexico. one so rich in Culture and steeped in history. which resonate today on the streets of the metropolis that is Mexico City. I find it impossible. as an artist. to live somewhere and not have my work affected by my environment. but it’s tricky to make comments on a culture I've only known for a few months. I have realised I can only make work about what I know best and at the moment. that ’s my experience as a white. half Scot/ half Finn. Fortunately there's a thriving art scene here. which feels on the verge of something big. perhaps like Britain before Brit Art. Mexican artists dominate. which is a good thing. but the scene is also accommodating to foreign artists. Initially, I thought getting an exhibition here would be easier than at home but soon realised that galleries are booked up for years in advance. Having said this. with a bit of enthusiasm and walking the streets in search of the off-beat gallery run by the dude with the messy bleached mullet and parka. it‘s possible to get going on the path to success . . . Katri Walker Mexico
TRAMWAYZ HEAVEN We are pleased to see that Scottish Ballet/Scottish Opera have responded to public Opinion regarding their proposed takeover of Tramway and altered the terms of their Lottery bid so as to retain the visual arts space, Tramway2. However, while this change of heart is welcome. it is not. in
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itself, a solution. It should be the beginning of a process of consultation and consideration that leads to a strategic commitment on the part of the City Council and the Scottish Arts Council. Any solution for the future of visual arts at Tramway must be well supported, and in place for the long term.
Glasgow has a major success on its hands in the shape of Tramway. ‘one of the UK‘s most ground-breaking art spaces of the 903' (The Guardian. 30/5/00). It is a unique. free art space that offers the oppOrtunity to engage with the best of new visual art. an engagement that is both a key part of contemporary cultural life and also now forms part of Glasgow's international identity.
Yet. currently. there is no clear strategy for the visual arts within Glasgow City Council. and there has been no public or professional consultation regarding the Ballet/ Opera proposal.
Tramway's visual arts officer Alexia Holt remains suspended, apparently for simply bringing the existence of this Lottery bid to public attention. In the light of the decision to rethink this bid once the issues involved were publicly considered. it seems clear that conducting it in secret was a mistake and that Ms. Holt's suspension is unjustified and indefensible.
We. the undersigned. represent arts organisations across Scotland. We call for a genuine process of consultation and debate. leading to action that takes into account all of the points made above. We believe that this is the time for intelligent. inclusive development to capitalise on what has been achieved so far.
Will Bradley, the Modern Institute; Professor Klaus Jung. Glasgow School of Art; Richard Calvocoressi. Scottish National Galleries of
Modern Art; Guyan Porter. Scottish Artists' Union; Nick Evans. Kate Davis, Charlie Hammond, Lotte Gertz and Jane Topping. Transmission Gallery; Graham McKenzie. Centre for Contemporary Arts: Fiona Bradley. Fruitmarket Gallery: Toby Webster. the Modern Institute; Mick Peter. Glasgow Project Room / Glasgow Independent Studios; Katrina Brown. Dundee Contemporary Arts; Amy Sales and Lucy Gibson. EmergeD; Leigh French. Variant magazine; Lorraine Wilson. Glasgow Sculpture Studios; Malcolm Dickson. Street Level Photoworks; Sam Ainsley. Glasgow School of Art; Deidre McKenna. Stills Gallery; Paul Nesbitt. Inverleith House: Robb Mitchell, the Chateau; Sorcha Dallas and Marianne Greated. Switchspace; Susanna Beaumont. Doggerfisher
(This letter has been abbreviated for reasons of space)
THE OTHER FRUITMARKET
Are there two Fruitmarket Galleries in Edinburgh? I read your reviewer's comments about the exhibition by Paul Carter. and I think I must have seen a different show. The one I saw was beautiful. haunting. and uplifting — and nothing could be more different from the ‘joyless‘ show that Paul Dale describes.
I'm a peace loving woman. but for the love of God. I'm very bloody close to slapping the next person I see (and hear) spitting on the street near me. It's turning into some kind of nightmarish tubercular slalom avoiding the prairie oysters underfoot these days. And the noises. When did it become OK to slurp and gronk your hideous lung butter in front of people?
well-written pieces and deep enthusiasms are being lost among the noise. But I don't just buy it for the lists (increasingly available elsewhere) — I want to read your writers: they‘re good. Might the magazine be made a wee bit less like a scene from the Birds? Jock Finnie Edinburgh
Must The List always be quite so busy? I know you are a listings provider and all that but aren‘t you also a cool. passionate, knowledgeable arts magazine working on behalf of adult readers who don't need to be boasted at all the time? It's not as if the boasts are even fulfilled: the seemingly promised article about Blur turned out to be a brief questionnaire (‘What's your favourite biscuit?) with Alex James. The inevitable (and useful) blizzard of information in one part of the magazine seems to be determining the atmosphere of the other part. and
TWO BOTTLES OF
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THE LETTER OF THE ISSUE WILL RECEIVE
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CONTRIBUTORS Publisher & General Editor Robin Hodge
Editor Nick Barley Deputy Editor
Brian Donaldson Assistant Editors
Maureen Ellis. Paul Dale Research
Helen Monaghan (Art). Maureen Ellis (Comedy & SpOrt). Henry Northmore (Film at Rock). Anna Millar (City Life. Dance & Theatre). Ruth Hedges (Classical. Folk. Jazz 8. Kids)
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Sales & Sponsorship Director Amanda Mungall Media Sales Support Barbara Crichton
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Circulation Kate Fairclough
Krista KegeI-Dixon Production Manager Simon Armin
Designer Lucy Reeves Subeditor Ashley Davies Production Assistant Russell Steedman
ADMINISTRATION Accounts Manager Georgette RenWick Accounts Assistant Manager Donna Taylor Reception
Rachael Street Edinburgh Office Susannah McMicking Glasgow Office
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SECTION EDITORS Art Helen Monaghan Books Brian Donaldson City Life Anna Millar, Jane Hamilton
Clubs Henry Northmore (with Kenny Hodgart) Comedy Maureen Ellis Comics Paul Dale Dance Kelly Apter
Film Paul Dale
Food Barry Shelby Games Iain DaVidson Gay Jane Hamilton
Kids Ruth Hedges Music Mark Robertson (with Norman Chalmers. Carol Main. Kenny Mathieson_ Fiona Shepherd) News Ruth Hedges Records Mark Robertson Shopping Maureen Ellis Sport Maureen Ellis Television Brian Donaldson Theatre Steve Cramer Travel Anna Millar Video/DVD Paul Dale