Catherine Yass, Highwire
Calum Stirling, Outopia
Johnathan Monk, Second-hand Daily Exchange
Karen Cunningham, Man of Letters
Laurance Figgis, Courtesy of The Glasgow International
Festival of Contemporary Visual Arts
Ben Merris, Abyssmal Camouflage
Emmet Kierans, Triptych, Installation View
Hideko Inoue, Lamb
Luca Frei, Untitled (heads)
The Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Visual Arts
April 11-27, 2008
Set within a theme of “public/private” the Festival will showcase special commissions and new work by established Glasgow-based artists alongside responses to Glasgow by artists from across the world and pieces by a new generation of artists living and working in the city. Running from 11-27 April, the Festival will see work shown in over 30 venues alongside installation in a fascinating array of off-site and found spaces. “Glasgow’s contemporary art scene is recognised globally as one of the most exciting today,” says Francis McKee, curator of the Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Visual Art . “The Gi Festival brings together all the key organisations across the spectrum of the Glasgow’s vibrant art scene, presenting a unique event rooted in the achievements of the local artistic community while drawing on the international networks linked to Glasgow.”
The 2008 festival is loosely themed around the issue of public and private, but McKee has deliberately left it open so that artists and organisations can interpret it in their own way. “I felt it was an appropriate theme because so much is changing in Glasgow at the moment”, he adds. “New areas are being developed and the architecture leaves many open spaces but they are seldom genuinely inviting as public space. At the same time, the city’s population is redefining the city in its own way, with different ‘publics’ finding alternative space to flourish.”
“As in any modern city it also becoming increasingly difficult to separate the definitions of public and private – if you walk down the street in a private conversation on a mobile while being filmed by cctv is that a public or private moment?”
In Glasgow’s art world there is also a shift in the dynamics of public and private. Public art galleries continue to exist under the auspices a separate trust. Private galleries have also got a marked presence – for example The Modern Institute, Mary Mary and Sorcha Dallas. “Each of these functions in a public sense too – cultivating the non-commercial scene in recognition of what it offers to Glasgow as well as working commercially in the city.” McKee continues. “The Modern Institute too has launched a sister organisation called The Common Guild, a dedicated public body and the 2008 Gi Festival sees the launch of a series of exhibitions curated by The Common Guild in a private house turned not for profit gallery.”
“In a world saturated with information and images, the challenge to artists to articulate their vision of the world and of what art is more difficult than at any time in history,” says Mark O’Neill, Chair of The Gi Festival Advisory Committee “The he 40 exhibitions across the city in public spaces and non-arts venues will offer the opportunity to see how artists have risen to this challenge. Gi is an unmissable chance to learn to see in new ways, through the eyes of some of the most interesting and creative people in the world today.”
Among the highlights of the gallery-based work commissioned by the 2008 Gi Festival is the largest exhibition in Scotland to date by Turner Prize nominated artist, Jim Lambie. Forever Changes will take over the whole of the ground floor gallery in GoMA and will include a new floor. At Tramway, the 20th anniversary programme opens with a major new commission from Jonathan Monk (Tramway 1) which will highlight one of the architectural features of the space and new work by Stephen Hurrel (Tramway 4) and Rachel Mimiec (Hideen Gardens) .At CCA Catherine Yass will show HIGH WIRE, a multi-screen installation focusing on Didier Pasquette’s walk between the Red Road Flats which was co-commissoned by the Festival and ArtAngel; Calum Stirling will create a new piece in The Mitchell Library and at Sorcha Dallas Gallery Alasdair Gray will show for the first time a series of works created for an uncompleted 1970s BBC TV film; also in association with Sorcha Dalls, Gi Festival will present a group show at the Collins Gallery featuring, amongst others, Alex Frost. Meanwhile in the Mackintosh Gallery at the Glasgow School of Art three young Chinese artists will show work in an exhibition co-produced by Pi Li of the CAFA, Beijing and Coiin Chinery.
In an exciting development, the 2008 Gi Festival will see the first in a series of exhibitions in a private house turned “not for profit” gallery. Common Guild, the recently created organisation dedicated to producing a dynamic international programme of contemporary visual art projects, exhibitions, and events, will show work in the Glasgow house of Douglas Gordon. Common Guild commission in association with the Gi Festival will see the first UK exhibition of work by Algerian artist Adel Abdessemed. Meanwhile in an off-site space in the city centre the 2006 Turner Prize winner, Simon Starling, will show a new work inspired by the Glasgow’s cityscape. Also showing work off-site are acclaimed Polish artist Wilhelm Sasnal – a new video and sound based piece commissioned by the Gi Festival; Simon Yuill – a film piece with live music by Foxface at the Gal Gael Boat Yard and Kalup Linzy – the first UK show by the New York-based artist, whose video vignettes offer satirical and subversive takes on pop culture.
“NEW GENERATION” IN PROFILE
Also in the spotlight in the third Gi Festival is the new generation of up and coming artists living and working in the city. A.Vermin, the artist-run curatorial project that invites artists to both inhabit and engage with public and private spaces, is to be been given free range in the city centre State bar, using the premises as both gallery and event space. Amlngst the highlights of the events will be the launch of latest edition of Uncle Chop Chop Meanwhile Lowsalt, the artist-led, not-for-profit organisation founded in 2006, will show work both in the gallery - a new exhibition by Andrew Reid - and in a series of unexpected places (in alleyways, under bridges, parks, auditoria, or derelict warehouses). Regular bus tours will take visitors to see work, which will include a collaborative project by Raydale Dower and Judd Brucke and a series of inflatable sculptures by Iain Kettles. In the Marker Gallery Hideko Inoue, a recent GSA MFA graduate and New Contemporaries artist will show work alongside two fellow Japanese artists Anti-Cool & Kathy Aoki.and in The Project Room Karen Cunningham, Babak Ghazi and Luca Frei will present a group show.
EVENTS, GIGS AND ARTIST TALKS
Amongst the events and gigs highlights include a sole UK appearance by Rodney Graham the seminal Vancouver-based artist, (Commissioned by The Common Guild in collaboration with the Public Art Fund, New York and in association with the Gi Festival 2008); a series of gigs at Hitherto and a full programme at SWG3, former Comme des Garçons Warehouse the ground floor of which is being transformed into a fully functioning bar and nightclub open to the public for the duration of the festival. The former wedding car garage will be transformed by artworks to form the interior with a ceiling by Toby Paterson and tables by Jim Lambie.
With the support of the Scottish Arts Council, there will be a special international “Curators” visit to the 2008 Gi Festival. Over the first week of the Festival curators form leading galleries across the world will be given the chance to see work by Scottish artists and to experience the special and Visiting Arts will
FOR FULL PROGRAMME INFORMATION SEE NOTES FOR EDITORS OR VISIT WWW.GLASGOWINTERNATIONAL.ORG
The Festival is made possible by support from Event Scotland, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Enterprise Glasgow.
For more information please visit: Glasglow International