Visual Art




On the record

A new group show at Sorcha Dallas features an impressive array of work, which transforms the everyday through filmmaking, as Liz Shannon discovers

passive. recording. not thinking . . .‘ So begins

(‘hristopher lsherwood‘s novel (foot/bye 'I’o Berlin. While the book is now most famous as the inspiration for the musical Cabaret. the new exhibition of artists' films at Sorcha Dallas takes its title and inspiration from these opening lines. The show includes a range of historical and contemporary artists who have used film to capture and transform ordinary. everyday life. and includes acclaimed Glasgow artist Kate Davis‘ first work on film.

‘I chose the quote as it seems to best reflect the concept of the show.‘ says curator Dallas. ‘All the artists use the ordinary. but through it being “developed. carefully printed. fixed" as lsherwood‘s quote goes on to say it becomes altered and transformed. I also liked the fact that it suggests filmmaking to be an act of recording; often remotely observing everyday acts. which are then transformed through the process itself.‘

This filmic transformation is often achieved through technology. such as image processing. stop framing and animation. ‘There is a definite interest in a collage approach to filmmaking.‘ says Dallas. ‘It is a common theme running through all the artists‘ works whether it is the cut-out and hand-drawn element in Katy Dove's films or the scratched and dancing line of Len Lye's. However. the works are much more dense then this: the building up and layering of the image is complex. and other than Lye’s upbeat jazz soundtrack there is a definite crescendo that happens with the accompanying soundtracks.’

‘I am a camera with its shutter open. quite

.»\bstraction is another unifying factor. ‘All the artists~ works have an element of abstraction.‘ says Dallas. ‘l5or example.'s line works beautifully seen next to the built-up line that appears in Kate Davis' work. but it also has a connection to the strobed and repeated lines in Dove's animations.

‘(‘raig Mulholland‘s use of real objects. particularly in "Nil ()rally". which he alters via digital techniques. has an obvious connection with Steina and Woody Vaulka‘s work. but some of the more abstract forms also echo those featured in “Motorhead” by Dove. It is these slippagcs that I find most exciting and intriguing.

'The viewer will draw their own conclusions and connections too.‘

The gallery will be a noisier place than usual. as sound is often as integral to the works as the visual component. The films will be screened one after the other. with a total duration of about 3() minutes. “Ideally the viewer will be able to sit and watch them all.‘ says Dallas. ‘l ain also planning a resource room which will have publications. information and some relevant documentaries. I hope visitors will take time with the filtns and extra information. to fully immerse themselves in the project.‘

While Liza Minnelli might not be belting out any numbers in fishnets and a bowler hat. the films chosen for I Am a (‘ulm'ru promise to be just as compelling. and infinitely more unusual.

I Am a Camera (Group Show), Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow, Fri 5 Jun-Fri 17 Jul.

~;; Tobias Sternberg: Review Swedish artist Steinberg moves onto the fertile ground of photomontage and conjures up some wonderful. darkly humorous images that linger long in the mind. See review, page 96. Corn Exchange Gallery Edinburgh, until Thu 4 Jun.

:13 Phil Collins: The World Won’t Listen In his first major solo show in Scotland. British artist Collins explores the power of music and celebrity culture through Smiths karaoke and defaced Britney Spears posters. Highly recommended. Tramway, Glasgow, until Sun 37 May.

Ti: Will Dams and Rue Five: Crystal la the New Wolf Recoat's two-man show presents an intriguing twist on graffiti and street art, including woodcuts, etchings, and a large-scale mural created collaboratively by the two artists. See review, page 97. Recoat Gallery, Glasgow, until Sat 6 Jun.

311 Francesca Woodman This beautifully presented show offers a broad perspective on Woodman's work, from 1972 until her suicide at the age of 22. See review, page 96. lng/eby Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 13 Jun.

13: No Horizons Must-see exhibition of work by contemporary artists, drawn from the private collections of Charles Asprey and Alexander Schrdder. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, until Sun 19 Jul.

:11 I Am a Camera Group show featuring an array of artists who transform the ordinary and everyday through the act of filmmaking. See preview, left. Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow, Fri 5 Jun—Fn' 17 Jul.

28 May—i 1 Jun 2009 THE LIST 98