GROUP SHOW BECK’S FUTURES CCA. Glasgow, Thu 3 Jun-Wed 4 Aug
The Beck’s Futures touring exhibition is always a peculiar prospect. The brouhaha of competition has faded. And now that Saskia Olde Wolbers has cashed the £24,000 cheque presented in recognition of her uncanny narrative video installations, gallery-goers are left with a group exhibition lacking the usual curatorial structure - a snapshot more than a show.
In journeying north, from the ICA to the CCA, Beck’s Futures picks up its fair share of baggage, too - since its inception in 2000, Scottish- based artists have been well represented, not least by a trio of winners: Roddy Buchanan, Toby Paterson and Rosalind Nashashibi. This year, it’s the turn of Glasgow- based painter Hayley Tompkins, who still seems taken aback by her selection.
‘I was really surprised,’ she says. ‘l’d applied for the prize before. You’re invited to send slides and information, and this was actually the third time I’d done that. l was starting to think that this was an opportunity I’d never get a chance at.’
Tompkins’ work - tiny sketches on notebook paper and abstract watercolours on wood - rests on an odd set of paradoxes, from the cumulative strength of assembled pieces so delicate individually that they’re almost flighty, to an underlying precision undermining first impressions that they’re hasty doodles. This is in marked contrast to the work of the other Beck’s nominees, be it Susan Philipsz’ site-specific audio works, Nicoline Van Harskamp’s performances considering surveillance, Andrew Cross’ American landscapes, or the carpet fluff sculpture of Tonico
Tompkins, though, sees common ground between a set who seem chosen to highlight the healthy plurality
of current practice.
SIMONE NIEWEG AND LAURENZ BERGES
Stills, Edinburgh, until Sat 26 Jun 0...
Simone Nieweg's landscapes are mesmerising. Mostly they are shots taken from the corners of fields (in the Ruhr and Lower Rhine regions of Germany) in which things like wheat.
88 THE LIST 1() 2.1 Jllll 20011
Untitled by Hayley Tompkins
‘It’s an exciting group,’ she says. ‘It really seems to be a mature group of artists.’
Rather than sitting back and enjoying the accolades, Tompkins is back in the thick of it, showing brand new work at the CCA.
‘It was all new work at the ICA and I’m working on new things for this show too,’ she says. ‘lt’s the way I work - I prefer to install new things and see how they do, instead of bringing in things I already know and understand. It’s a great feeling to suddenly be in Glasgow, too. The space I have here is much clearer to
work with than at the ICA, and because people haven’t
seen my work here for a while, it’s given me confidence to try out more new work. It’s good to be in a place
where I feel secure, and that I know.’ (Jack Mottram)
sprouts or kale are growing or which are fallow and muddy. Admittedly this doesn't SOUle promising. but Nieweg's photographs are Sublime. Everything from the foreground to the background is democratically rendered With the same dizzyineg exqwsite focus. Under uniform strips of pearly grey sky. the rather ordinary expanses of cultivated land zing. Nieweg's work has been coupled with
Simone Nieweg - Rosenkohl (Grevenbroich 2000)
that of Laurenz Berges. Both artists are from the North Rhine Westphalia region of Germany. are showing in Scotland for the first time and were taught by Bernd and Hilla Becher, whose former students include almost anyone who's anyone in German photography.
Where Nieweg photographs outdOOrs. Berges' images are taken inside. Like Nieweg. he manages to create something sublime from unpromising subject matter. He photographs the insides of homes hastily evacuated by people who have been resettled because of the advance of open-cast mining. More precisely. he photographs the trace of soot-blackened spiders‘ webs across white walls. the scars left by shelves that have been removed and a forgotten glass on a shelf. These aren’t real clues as to who might have lived in these houses. Nor does Berges seem to be making a political statement about the ills of open-cast mining. Instead his photographs are lyrical evocations of something more universal to do with impermanence and loss. (Kate Tregaskis)
News from the world of art
pen for all - access under threat
AS THE PLAYFAIR PROJECT nears completion and everyone who receives the bulletin is phoned up to sponsor a brick and help fund the £1m shortfall, more financial pressure is heaped on the National Galleries in a report out this month. The Best Value review by the accountancy ﬁrm Deloitte reveals a projected annual deﬁcit of 23m and threatens the massively successful policy of free entrance charges unless the Executive stumps up signiﬁcant increases in funding. With visitor ﬁgures up 30% since the no charge policy was introduced, funding for the National Galleries must be a key priority for James Boyle’s cultural commission and the Executive. SMALL SUMS ARE AVAILABLE. though, of £2000 for individual artists resident in Scotland through the Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy Artists' Bursary. Send a stamped addressed envelope to Administrator (Bursary), Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy. The Mound, Edinburgh. EH2 2EL or email friends@ royalscottishacademyorg. Deadline Thu 1 July.
NOW, LET’S HAVE A HEATED debate. Down at Edinburgh’s Old St Paul’s Church on Jeffrey Street, Scotland’s big thinkers are gathering this month to discuss the idea of cultural identity, belief and representation. BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth will chair the event, hosted with the Fruitmarket Gallery. Speakers include Nathan Coley, whose work is currently on show at the Fruitmarket; architect Malcolm Fraser and the former Bishop of Edinburgh Richard Holloway. If you would like to be involved in the forum discussion call the Fruitmarket on 0131 225 2383 or drop into the gallery’s bookshop. The List has four tickets to give away: email promotions@ list.co.uk by Tue 22 Jun with name and contact details. Place Forum, 24 June, 5.30-8.30pm, £10 (£7)
AND FINALLY. GOSSIP WANTED. Art world geography has shifted a little and The L/sf's ARTBEAT column is seeking titbits of chat — salacious. amusing or incriminating — to spread the rumours you all want to read. Anything you think may fit the column bill please email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ta.