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OUROBOROS: THE MUSIC OF SPHERES
CCA, Glasgow, until Sun 4 Apr .0...
As the first product of the CCA’s new curatorial structure, Ouroboros: The Music of the Spheres sets the bar high, thanks to its peculiar internal logic and free interplay of ideas. Curator John Calcutt took an unusual tack in assembling the work seen here, beginning with broad ideas about music and art, allowing the selection process to reveal themes, rather than matching work to an initial concept. The end result is a reversal of this process, with clear connections forged between seemingly disparate work.
Dave Allen and Jonathan Monk’s Gyrostasis opens the show, with 12 inch and 7 inch records suspended from the ceiling, pointing a little too neatly to the show’s preoccupation with the circles and spirals of vinyl, but what follows is a dizzying to- and-fro of ideas. The clash of Robert Smithson’s monumental earthwork Spiral Jetty with David Alker and Peter Liddell’s tiny paintings of album covers on cream crackers, is a winning one, daring the viewer to make the leap from canonical, large- scale and serious to new, tiny and playful in a single bound.
Conversely, Peter Lynch’s sturdy monochrome abstracts inevitably call to mind Malevich’s
sctii PTURAI lNSiAll AllON ROSENGARTEN
Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, until Sat 17 Apr .0.
It is a feeling of haunting. soft beauty that pervades when you enter Rosengar‘fen. a (I()”£ll)()l'€lll\.’(} show inspired by research into obstetric instruments and the mechanics of childbirth. Nine tables are laid out in a grid of 13x3 and house a collection of sculptural objects by Anne Bevan. which are framed by wall mounted texts by Janice Galloway.
The first row of three creates the looping shapes of
Installation shot of Jim Lambie’s wall piece
Suprematism, a suspicion confirmed by the recreation of his 1915 Last Futurist Exhibition in the next room, another act of miniaturising alchemy by Alker & Liddell. Jim Lambie seems to sum things up with his domineering wall piece. It references the Op Art found elsewhere with a vertigo-inducing set of concentric circles, and nods toward the musical with two silently spinning, glitter-drenched turntables. Better yet, Lambie mirrors the explicit mining of art history here by building a new work
forceps in bron/e. plaster and fabric. The central table displz y s a video. flanked on either side by cylindrical vials and vessels, in sets of three within three. that tremble delicately as you step up to them. Here Bevan has also
pulled Oallo\.vay's text into the pieces: etched words ‘.'.’lllf$l)(}llltg through the glass. In the right corner of the grid. natural sponges and mother of pearl are employed in an
investigation of the ultrasound.
Bevan engages With the obstetric forms but you also feel an infinity lies within the materials she uses. a sense of investment. which is echoed in Galloway's text. The two elements are essential to one another. The text subtly hits you out of the materiality of the sculptures. enhancing your emotional engagement with the work. while the scale and form of the objects creates a bodily reaction that borders on the physically iincomfortable. iLucy Gibsoni
Anne Bevan’s sculptural forms
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from the tropes of his own past practice - the vinyl tape, turntables and belts - closing the circle with an image lifted from his design work for Primal Scream.
It is perhaps worth remembering that though the Ouroboros of legend might at first appear to be disappearing up its own arse, it is in fact swallowing its own tail. The CCA’s latest is the same, managing to be a wonderfully cyclical look at music in art without ever dissolving into a knowing mess of allusion and counter-allusion. (Jack Mottram)
Laundrywide by Laura Bruce
THE MEDIUM IS TEDIUM Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 20 Mar 0000
The meticulous nature of the works created here verge on
the tedious but not in a derogatory sense. Kate Owens. one of the artists who make up this all-female group show. has painstakingly emptied the contents of Space Raiders and other novelty crisps onto the glass frontage of the gallery to form three ecclesiastical church windows. She creates a decorative. barogue aesthetic from the most unliker source. Think Changing Rooms meets Jamie Oliver.
Similarly mundane is the music on Ruth Ewan's CD Jukebox. One play for 10p or 20 for a 8‘1 and you can select from a wide range of wood noises. They're all downloaded from the internet. and the experience of selecting tracks — normally a pleasurable pursuit — takes on a surreal element. It took me a good five minutes to decide between ‘chiselling wood by hand' or ‘opening wooden drawer'.
Berlin-bale American artist Laura Bruce presents two complemeiitary works. New Dav i2()()3i is a Witty. poetic and self-obsessed monologue to camera. The artist picked a day on which she had a lot of tasks to do and documented every thought. even; action in glorious. banal detail. In latindryWide. layers of folded second-hand clothes. |.'l shades of browns. greens. floral fabrics and blues. make up this imaginary landscape. The freedom and Wide Open space of the countryside it (IONJUFCS up conflicts With her chosen 'nedium. iHelen lvlonaghanl
MIXED MEDIA WHAT’S LOVE GOT
TO DO WITH IT
Market, Glasgow, until Sat 13 Mar 0...
In celebration of Glasgow's City of Love festival. Market has challenged eight artists to consider matters romantic. Celine Mcllmunn and Gerry Clark Open with Love is All Around. a sound piece that follows John Oswald‘s Plunderphonic technique in extracting instances of the word ‘love' from their record collections. re-contextualising them in a call and response loop. These plaintive cries set the tone. With all the artists here choosmg as their focus themes of loss and longing.
House of Women by Misty Cervantes
Mari Lagergwst's film homes in on tiny gestures of affection, leaving the viewer to surmise a couple's relationship from each t0uch. It's a movmg piece. overlaid With the note of discomfort that voyeurism brings. Next. Juliana Capes copies saccharine pop lyrics onto blackboards. not to teach us from the Wisdom of Atomic Kitten. but as if love can be learned through the effort of repeating its blandest expression. Misty Cervantes takes a different tack with her portraits of LA gang members. Shown in family groups. related by both blood and allegiance. they display love as a bond that can forge new sooal networks. creating kinship. With the obvious negative aspects of gang life left outside the frame.
Around the corner from the gallery. mounted high on a nearby church facade. Corinne Carlson's The Look of Love provides the show's mascot. With a metre-high, close-cropped image of King Kong's eyes rendered in SD. Like Mcllmunn 8. Clark's sOund piece. this cultural commonplace from the contemporary leXicon of love is eloquent Out of context. and once again talks more of longing for love than love itself. iJack Mottraml