MIXED MEDIA CRAIG MULHOLLAND Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow, Sat 29 May-Sat 11 Sep
Craig Mulholland’s new show, Plastic Casino, looks liable to be quite the dizzying affair, spanning two spaces - Sorcha Dallas and a nearby abandoned warehouse - and bleeding into its city centre surroundings; trapping disparate inﬂuences in a tangled net of sculpture, painting and video.
In drawing on sources ranging from Walter Benjamin’s discussion of the city as arcade, Guy Debord’s ideas of spectacle, the failings of post- revolutionary art education in Cuba and the very spaces that will hold his new work, Mulholland sees the show as, in part, a critique of voguish urban regeneration.
‘I wanted to present the work in a way that might echo the scepticism surrounding the regeneration of Glasgow,’ he says. ‘Some of the paintings have plinths to sit on, and that presentation is slightly obtuse and absurd, like the way you can wander around town and see useless marble blocks on the pavement, installed as part of some regeneration scheme. There’s a window in the space and, it you look out, you can see shopping precincts and billboards, so I want the space to have a consumer aspect - one piece is a wall painting of a bar code, like the shadow of a looming barcode outside.’
It the show in its entirety is to be a sort of static dérive through commercial surroundings, individual works look set to question points in the flow of art history.
‘A lot of the work is about taking optimistic ideologies of the past, and placing them in a more cynical light. One painting, Olde Ultraviolence, looks like a photo realist piece, like an early
Gerhard Richter. l was interested in Richter’s claims about non-style, and the way that now, through time, his work appears to be very styled. This painting is meant to ask if Richter’s work has, over time, almost become fascist; a narrative dramatisation of that question.’
Alongside his own show, Mulholland is also engaging in some low-key curation, reserving space in the warehouse for Clare Stephenson and Alex Pollard. But rather than tying in with Mulholland’s show, the work by Pollard and Stephenson is being brought in so artists and
WORKS ON PAPER
PAINTING & DRAWING DELIA BAILLIE: SOLID GROUND Royal Scottish Academy Building, Edinburgh, Fri 4 Jun-Sun 4 Jul
Control versus chance have been dominant themes in the work of Glasgow-born artist Delia Baillie over the past few years. Through line. colour and surface. her paintings contain surprises - snippets of information related to peOple or situations. She once found a Cylinder of paper in an ashtray and on unravelling it. discovered that it was a Norwegian 50 kroner note. On one side of the note. there was a printed illustration of lilies. She added this happend upon. decorative element into her painting. building up layers of synthetic COIOur.
The Dundee-based artist further explores control and chance in her fOrthcoming solo show at the RSA Building. The reSullS of a Royal Scottish Academy Alastair Salvesen Travel Scholarship which took Baillie to the USA in March last year. her new paintings. drawmgs and collages are inspired by a place
Detail from Plastic Casino
audience can identify links between all three. ‘We wanted the opportunity to see each others’ work together, to see what dialogue there might be i between our work.’ This is ambitious stuff, then, and there’s lots of it. Whether Mulholland succeeds in tying together his broad concerns remains to be seen, but it will certainly be fun watching him try. (Jack Mottram) I The off-site project with Alex Pollard and Clare ; Stephenson can be seen in the disused space below Glasgow Project Room.
MARK I’ANSON: ALWAYS THERE l2, Edinburgh, Sat 5-Wed 23 Jun
Adding a flash of colour to an item of clothing or painting the sky blue brings Mark l'Anson's beautifully rendered pencil drawings to life. In Yellow Interior II, he injects mustard yellow to the grainy. monochrome study of women welding. In Triptych I, he goes that little bit further. leaving only the background in pencil as vibrant green dominates the image. Inspired by actual photographs from the 1930s and 19408. l'Anson depicts women working. protesting or enjoying leiswely pursuits.
‘The 308 and 403 were the golden age in terms of documentary photographs.‘ says
of extreme seismic activity. She travelled to the western-most coast of America. the area around the San Andreas Fault which goes through California to the Cascade Range. a chain of active volcanoes that reaches northward for 600 miles over Oregon and Washington to the Canadian border.
‘I like the idea of scientists trying to predict what iS going to happen. whether it was an earthquake in California or a volcano erupting in Oregon.’ she says. ‘It is almost like gambling. People think that if they watch for long enough what's going on at the table. they can predict what the next roll of the dice is.'
Baillie COuld have in no way predicted how things w0uid turn Out during her travels. Towards the end of her scholarship. she was run over in Washington. which put her out of action for some time. DeSpite the accident. it has not overshadowed what she experienced beforehand which is evident in the new works. From her draWihgs onto maps to the vrvrd, intrigumg compositions of her paintings. yOu can expect to see the unexpected. (Helen Monaghan)
l'Anson. ‘Women have always been working but suddenly the media wanted photographs of them for propaganda reasons. so that refers to the title of the show. It's this kind of unwritten history that interests me.‘
The Edinburgh-based artist. best known for his series of footballing heroes shown I recently at the Scottish National Ponrait Gallery and currently on tour. is very much drawn to history. From an early age l'Anson has collected old photographs. picking them up from Junk shops and then reproduCing sections. corners and elements into his work. He describes himself as a “historian with a paintbrush' and through his work. he explores its relevance today. While he was working on the series of images of women protesting at anti-fascist and anti-war marches of the 30s. many people were marching against the war with Iraq.
'l'm trying to make my work relevant to now and communicate with a 2004 audience rather than a 1947 audience.‘ he says. ‘History is all about how we got here and that is what I‘m trying to put across.‘
Along with the new works. as part of Always There. l'Anson is producing on a body of painted postcards. paper dolls and a series of images exploring the fishing industry. , Powerful. evocative and not a footballer in sight. (Helen Monaghan) ‘
Yellow Interior II i
27 May—10 Jun 2004 THE LIST 89