gallery (among others). but around it. other

venues are opening up: the Project Rooms. another artist-run institution. as well as smaller spaces which appear and disappear as often as the artists running them wish.

A bit further north. in the basement of the swish Brunswick Hotel. a monthly party

organised by Stuff Records. has become one of

the city‘s best small eltrbs. The box-like Brunswick might be small. hill it’s also perfectly formed for intimate. sweaty dancing. ‘The venue situation [in (ilasgowl totally sucks.‘ explains Stuff Records‘ amiable head honcho Richard (‘haterz explaining why he wanted to host electro blow-out Numbers in the basement of a hotel. ‘There are no medium sized venues any more. which is why we wanted to do something in the Brunswick. It only holds l()() people. so it’s a cupboard. but it’s brilliant. and the size allows you to do really good parties.’

(‘harlie Hammond is putting the finishing touches to his work at a group exhibition in a venue he’d rather not name (‘I might want to do something here again. and I don‘t want it to be shut downf). Ilammond. exhibiting along with Nick Iivans. Henry (‘oombes. Lotte (iert/ and Lorna Macintyre. all artists based and working in (ilasgow. says that ‘it’s nice to do something self-initiated‘. There are artist—run spaces like the Transmission (Hammond has served on its committee in the past). ‘which is pretty special. and people doing things like Mary Mary Ian artist-run space in the artists‘ flat in the Iiast Iindl' but the freedom to take over your own space. and do exactly what you want with it. is something else entirely. ‘There's rarely a month where there‘s not some show or other [like this] going on.’ he continues. ‘And the good thing is. there‘s not a great divide between things: the people who go to openings at the Modern Institute. I'm not saying they'll all come to the opening tonight. btrt there is a lot of crossover.‘ The other thing Hammond cites about stepping outside the confines of better-known gallery spaces is the freedom that comes from doing things on a shoestring budget. 'We don't need to tick boxes. which is what can happen when you get funding. and there doesn’t need to be a concept behind the show. It's nice to ptrt together a show with active artists who all get along. That's a good enough reason as any. sometimes.‘

Ruth Barker. one of the live artists who make up the Something llaptic collective (she also runs a new art book imprint. Trajectory) echoes Hammond‘s comments about the city’s art scene. 'I’eople are forced to go out of the way. a little.‘ she says. ‘There are a few reasons for that. but one of them is definitely that in a city seen as a legitimised arts centre. even the places which are artist—led or artist-run have to behave a little more like any other institution it‘s less of a free-for-all. Which means if you‘re practicing slightly outside that strategy or that aesthetic. it makes it very diflicult to access those spaces.‘

Head west from King Street and the vaults of

Paddy"s Market. and a hop over the river takes you to the Chateau. the best known of the city's unconventional spaces. thanks. mostly. to the publicity which surrounded liranl. Iierdinand‘s meteoric rise. Robb Mitchell. who set up the space back in 2002. remains tight-lipped about any possible future plans. for much the same reason as many of the people interviewed for this article it's just too risky. Back on the north side of the river. and a little to the west. the Soundhaus. ‘a shining beacon of independence‘.


says Richard (‘hater. only half jokingly. continues its evolution as about the only permanent and entirely independent operation in the city. I‘urther to the west yet. Iiinneston has in the past hosted a series of warehouse and tunnel parties. but with the last of them having just closed down. it remains to be seen whether anyone else will take up the baton.

‘I‘d do it. given half the chance.’ says (‘haterz ‘because if you put more of an effort in. so do the people who come along. Sometimes. though. it‘s easier to stick with just doing the club; that's enough effort as it is. without the expense of hiring a PA. planning everything. and obviously making sure the police don't find out.‘

Walk north from the Soundhaus. along the side of the M8. the traffic artery which cut a huge swathe through Anderston and (‘haring (‘ross (Anderston used to be a bustling shopping district. but you wouldn’t know it from the roadworks and dank passages underneath the M8 which the area consists of now). and you see how the city has evolved. or rather has been knocked down and rebuilt. with little foresight or aesthetic judgement. it sometimes seems. Up there. in one of the winding mews that hide


behind the park district‘s offices and opulent flats. one of the mews cottages recently operated as a temporary exhibition space. with group exhibitions and sound installations that engaged with the surrounding architecture. It's closed for just now. but who knows it may open again.

lixploring the forgotten nooks and crannies of (ilasgow‘s urban sprawl is one way to both reconnect with the city's heart and history. and to find out what happens off the mainstream radar. Sharon Ilalliday runs a website devoted to uncovering the city's past. and its current hideaways. Urban exploration. she says. ‘gives you a hugely different view of the city. There's a fascination with things you can't quite see. can‘t quite get at or explain.’

‘lt does completely alter your perception of the city.. says Paul. a contributor to ‘It means you're no longer transient within the city. just getting from A to B - you pass something like an abandoned train station and when you see it. it‘s the start of a detective story.’ There's something peaceful and mysterious about derelict and abandoned buildings. says Darren. another exploration junkie. ‘You walk through the city. and there's all this urban decay. and when you get inside abandoned places. you can absorb their history. You can populate them quite easily. imagine ,_ what they were once like.‘ Also. he says. ‘the i cityscape is constantly changing. and you want to document it before it's all gone. There's a “_ parallel city inside the one everyone knows.‘ And. he doesn‘t add. its there for you to find. If 7-? only you know where to look.

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