I went to see the Anish Kapoor exhibition at ECA this morning. It’s really small (it only has two works) but it’s definitly worth checking out if you are in Edinburgh - it’s on until 9th October.
The first work is White Sand, Red Millet, Many Flowers, an early work from 1982 - an earnestly delicate combination of 4 pigment sculptures, juxtaposed against Untitled (2010), a giant ‘self-generating’ blood-red wax sculpture, constantly changed by a huge mechanical metal plate slowly scraping around the edge.
Check it out - also make sure you head up to the over looking balcony area - it’s not really sign posted well but offers a great view from above.
Today I made it to the Rauschenberg exhibition currently being staged in the Botanical Gardens as part of the Edinburgh Arts Festival. The exhibition is good, although it is made up of his later works from the 80s and 90s, which I think lack the rigour and originality of his boundary pushing work of the 50s and 60s.
It contained a few too many mirrored screen prints for my liking - and credit must be given to Heath Iverson for pointing out that in these pieces Rauschenberg seems to have accidentally created the template for the lacklustre meaningless T-Shirts made so popular by homogeneous companies such as Super Dry, none more so than ’Treadle/ROCI/USA (Wax Fire Works)’ from 1990 (pictured below).
Despite this, and a number of tired ready-mades, the sculptural collages made up of found materials, such as road signs, vehicle parts and scrap metal, far outweigh the more disappointing aspects of the show and create some great aesthetics.
Uptown Pig Pox (1998) - a sculpture of a pig covered in ties is also pretty good.
There was also an interesting, if not a little overly whimsical/sentimental, film about the life and works of the artist hidden away in the basement.
It’s setting in the Botanical Garden’s is also a nice touch - so long as it is sunny (as it was today).
(Above - Robert Rauschenberg’s Uptown Pig Pox (1988) in front of Le Coon Glut (1986) at the Botanical Vaudeville exhibition at Inverleith House in Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden)
The 4th August see’s the beginning of the Edinburgh Art Festival (4th Aug - 4th Sept 2011) - Check out the link below to see what’s on offer:
These are just the exhibitions in the Art Festival but there are plenty of others going on as part of the Fringe and the Edinburgh International Festival… I will keep you updated as and when I find out more
Last month I went through a ‘dark patch’ – as an escape from my mind I became addicted to playing ‘The Helicopter Game’ on my Blackberry. It’s the sort of low-tech game that you just can’t stop playing. The premise of the game is that you are in control of a helicopter and through frantic button pressing you have to try and navigate the aircraft through a bleak black tunnel, avoiding the bright green pixelated obstacles that appear before you. Every time you are playing an over whelming desire to stop playing comes over you – but as the helicopter inevitably crashes and you see you were just off your all time best score, you suddenly find yourself clicking on ‘start’ again and once again the button bashing commences.
So, after playing and playing and playing the game, I began to see it as a metaphor for life. At the beginning the tunnel is wide and the obstacles are few. As you continue along your journey the tunnel gets narrower and narrower, and the obstacles become greater in number, making it increasingly harder to avoid crashing. And then it invariably happens – you crash, and become a burning ball of flames and die.
It was at this point that I realised I had gone mad. It’s just a game.
The latest instalment of Oliver O’Keeffee’s After The Rapture series - with the beautifully named Necro.
Today I arose bright and early to make it to Chambers Street, Edinburgh for the grand opening of the National Museum of Scotland, following its lengthy £47 million revamp.
Along with some laborious tribal drumming, human statues abseiling from the roof, a fireworks display, some blacked up scottish people playing a fan-fare on weird scottish instruments, and previously unknown to me, but apparently very famous on the Scottish circuit, Grant Stott dressed in Victorian attire - was possibly the best thing ever.
An animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex.
It was amazing - the National Museum of Scotland is pretty good, but it was overshadowed by the mechanical T-Rex
Rhubaba Gallery | 23.07 – 07.08.2011 Preview: 22.07.2011 | 7-9pm Rhubaba Studios
Part II: David Dale presents: Desmond Church and Lyndsey Wardrop
Friday - Sunday | 12-5pm and by appointment
25 Arthur Street
Rhubaba Gallery | 23.07 – 07.08.2011
Preview: 22.07.2011 | 7-9pm
So on Friday I hopped on a train down to Glasgow to check out the British Art Show 7. It’s definitely worth a visit. As with any big exhibition, some works were better than others, but generally the quality was pretty high.
The exhibition is spread over three galleries - GoMA, CCA and Tramway - unfortunately, due to time and distance issues I was unable to make it to Tramway - so my apologies for not being able to dish the dirt on it.
Anybody who has wandered remotely near the British Art Show grapevine will no doubt have caught wind of Christian Marclay’s latest work The Clock. In the piece, he and a group of researchers have spliced together scenes from throughout the history of cinema containing fragments of clocks, watches and references to the time of day to create a 24 hour film that functions as an actual working time-piece. Although quite enjoyable to watch, the prime source of enjoyment came from playing ‘guess the film’. One friend (Nude Defending a Staircase) described it as nothing more than ‘overblown youtube gimmickry’, which I think is a fair description. The best thing about this work was that it pointed me in the direction of his earlier ’turntable art’, of which prior to Friday I remained ignorantly unaware.
My favourite work in the exhibition was Elizabeth Price’s video work User Group Disco, reminiscent of Ballet Mecanique - despite being a bit text heavy at times - the ending was amazing - spinning household implements set to a backing track of Aha’s Take on me.
Another personal fave was Nathaniel Mellor’s animatronic vomiting head sculpture - which does what you may expect an animatronic vomiting head sculpture to do - vomit.
Obviously it can’t all be great - there was also a wall at GoMA dedicated to the woefully dull works of George Shaw, an apparent necessity of pretty much all exhibitions these days.
Well anyway… there is loads to see, the list of artists in the exhibition is endless. I think it runs in Glasgow until August 21st - so if you are around these parts definitely go and have a look. After that it heads to Plymouth, making it easier for all you southern Englanders who missed it on it’s London stop.
I’ve spent the last few months looking at naked people (for research purposes) and while telling my Auntie about this she reminded me of the work of Spencer Tunick… an artist who really has the capability to push boundaries, and gather naked people en mass.
In this short video Tunick promotes his upcoming Naked Sea - Israel Project.
I find his work fascinating, his ability to persuade such large numbers of volunteers to strip naked is amazing. After watching this clip, I think the next time he produces something nearby (I don’t think I will make it to Israel) I will go along… I imagine it to be extremely liberating to take all of your clothes off in public… maybe I won’t wait… Maybe I will do it now… Milton Keynes city centre - brace yourselves.
Here is the latest instalment in Oliver O’Keeffe’s After The Rapture series.
As Jesus returns to earth he finds there is no place for radical Christian preachers in this largely secular land, his only option is to join the back of the queue…
Illustration - Oliver O’Keefee
Concept - Marcus Pibworth
For past instalments see my post from the 30th May 2011.