Greetings from Lanesville (still), 1976

Greetings from Lanesville (still), 1976

 

Please Turn Us On
28 July 2016 – 22 January 2017
Arthur Ginsberg with Video Free America
Heather Phillipson
Stansfield/Hooykaas
Videofreex

Please Turn Us On places Glasgow at the centre of a dialogue between early video art and international counterculture. Stansfield/Hooykaas’ What’s It To You? is presented in direct conversation with three other projects that play on themes explored in this seminal, Glasgow-made work.

Elsa Stansfield (b. Glasgow, 1945, d. Amsterdam, 2004) and Madelon Hooykaas (b. Maartensdijk, 1942) worked at the genesis of time-based practice, with the pair quick to realise the potential of video as an art form and as a communication tool. Shown at Glasgow’s The Third Eye Centre for a week in 1975, What’s It To You? was the first installation of its kind ever to be seen in Glasgow. During its original showing the work combined recorded and live film with photography and text. It was truly an interactive work, with audience engagement at its very core. The public’s changing responses to being filmed and questioned gave the work a different meaning with each viewing.

Using a combination of media to offer multiple readings of the work became a staple throughout Stansfield/Hooykaas’ rich career. Keen not to have the authoritative voice within their work, rather they attempted to use new video tape technology to break down social hierarchies and democratise the act of looking at and making artworks. It was through these means that What’s It To You? put Glasgow in communication with other counterculture movements across the globe.

Similarly dynamic projects were taking place across America. In Greetings from Lanesville Videofreex brought their brand of guerrilla broadcasting to Upstate New York. Their Lanesville TV was the first localised, pirate television station in the world. It featured interviews with the rural community, audience phone-ins and dramatic news reports. Videofreex helped to create a portrait of the local community, made by the local community. This happened at a time of great social and political turmoil, when many people didn’t feel like their attitudes were being fairly represented by traditional media. Lanesville TV offered a much-needed alternative voice and paved the way for modern, user-generated broadcasting.

As Stansfield/Hooykaas and Videofreex worked with our shared public experiences, The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd anticipated the camera’s ability to enter into the most personal parts of our lives. Between 1970 and 1972 director Arthur Ginsberg filmed the not-so-average daily lives of soon-to-be-wed Carel Rowe and Ferd Eggan. This precursor to reality television documents the couple’s changing desires and the drastic evolution of their relationship while living their lives in front of the camera. It is an early warning about the risks of living too close to an electronic medium.

Running through the exhibition is a new commission by London-based artist Heather Phillipson, bringing the issues raised by Stansfield/Hooykaas, Videofreex and Arthur Ginsberg into the contemporary. By focusing the historical elements of Please Turn Us On through her work, Phillipson suggests that despite the current ubiquitousness of personal filming equipment our understanding of its consequences hasn’t developed all that much in the last four decades.

Installation shot from 'Deep in the Heart of Your Brain' (2016) Jacqueline Donachie, photo Ruth Clark

Installation shot from Deep in the Heart of Your Brain (2016) Jacqueline Donachie, photo Ruth Clark

Deep in the Heart of Your Brain
Jacqueline Donachie
Gallery 4
20 May – 13 November 2016

Deep in the heart of your brain is a lever/ Deep in the heart of your brain is a switch
Radio Ethiopia, Patti Smith Band, Arista Records 1976

My conversation with Jacqueline Donachie began in 2011, when the gallery was examining questions around health, play and wellbeing. I was open to what the relationship with the artist might be, but interested in the development of her collaborations with scientists and how that informed her work in public spaces or the gallery setting. As our discussions developed it became apparent that there was an excellent opportunity to work with Donachie at the culmination of her PHD where she had spent considerable time reflecting on her practice in this medical and scientific realm, alongside realising ambitious new artworks. Our interest or ‘mutual curiosity’ we had about how artists and art institutions inform research and lead collaborations with medical academics and institutions inspired the thread that runs through the exhibition, the learning programme and the symposium. It is a curiosity that we hoped would engage visitors in the gallery and contribute to a current wider discourse on art and science.

Since 2002, Jacqueline Donachie has worked with a range of scientific and medical professionals in collaborative processes to produce new ideas and artworks. This significant solo show with GoMA, includes sculpture and drawings made in the last five years alongside new commissioned works developed from a period of research with a group of women affected by an inherited genetic condition, made in collaboration with the UK Myotonic Dystrophy Patient Registry at The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre in Newcastle.

Installation shot of 'Hazel (2016), Jacqueline Donachie, photo Ruth Clark.

Installation shot of Hazel (2016), Jacqueline Donachie, photo Ruth Clark.

Central to the exhibition is the new film work Hazel, a powerful three screen installation that directly connects the experiences of the participants – all sister sets, where one sibling has inherited the myotonic dystrophy gene and one has not – to a wider discussion around relationships, age and appearance. Edited from interviews with the siblings, the film doesn’t seek to present a literal case study representing an unknown research question. Instead Donachie asserts the role of artist in the editing the work. The unaffected sister is silent. The women talking discuss different aspects of their lived experiences with myotonic dystrophy. The viewer is drawn into a space where they encounter and listen to these edited interviews, but have more questions provoked than answers provided. Hazel is a portrait, not just of the women portrayed, but also of a wider lived experience we can all relate to through our own experiences of ageing, care and loss.

Artists working with their own lived experiences and relationships in their work is not unusual. Glasgow Museums has significant holdings of work in the collection by Jo Spence, who documented and commented on her relationships with her mother, her own body and experience of breast cancer through her photographs. However, while Donachie is present in her work (Studio 1995 and Pose Work for Sisters) she is also chooses not make herself the subject of the exhibition. The portraits she alludes to in her work are seen in relationship to the urban environment we inhabit and observations of materials and structures we use to navigate that space. Human scale is played with in the drawings (Glimmer I –V) and sculptures (Winter Trees and Headphones, Music, Boats and Trains). The selection of lampposts and streetlights for the drawings is an observation on the urban, everyday object’s elegance and relationship to the human body. They are tall and elegant, echoing the portraits in Studio 1995, where Donachie was posing and photographing herself against a white background (these works were shown photocopied and on billboards). But they equally have kinks and bends which could be a ‘neck not able to hold up or a back trying to straighten’ *. The Glimmer series of drawings and their pose are reflected in the Winter Trees sculpture series, which similarly examine the urban, our human relationship to it and the pose.

The sculptures, stark in their choice of materials: industrial, practical and immovable, have very emotive and poetic titles playing on boundaries between the external public experience and the often internal lived experiences. The Winter Trees title is taken from a Sylvia Plath poem alluding to moments of care when you are awake outside of your normal routine hours and start to see the landscape and environment around you in different ways. Deep in the Heart of Your Brain is a Lever as a title is taken from the lyrics of a Patti Smith song and refers to moments of feeling trapped by life and motherhood, a sentiment reflected in the scale, slick black finish and immovable nature of the sculpture.

For me the reflection on public [urban/industrial] and private [domestic/poetic] runs through Donachie’s work: whether in the materials she uses (scaffolding, aluminium plates, washing lines, repurposed clothing and threads) or the research (scientific findings, published research and personal testimonies). The use of materials and her research are distilled through a particular curiosity in how to present this as artworks in different contexts (parks, streets and galleries). Her railings sculptures have one presence in the public environment, where they are competing with everything around them, which shifts when Nice Style is isolated in the gallery.

Installation shot from 'Deep in the Heart of Your Brain' (2016) Jacqueline Donachie, photo Ruth Clark

Installation shot from Deep in the Heart of Your Brain (2016) Jacqueline Donachie, photo Ruth Clark

Deep in the Heart of Your Brain is at first glance a stark, confident and monochromatic show interrupted by a drawn orange gesture leading, or diverting you, through the space. But spend some time there and viewed through the prism of the works Hazel, Studio 1995 and Pose Work for Sisters it reveals poetic reflections on playfulness, relationships, care and lived experience – when that lever must be applied.

Katie Bruce
Producer Curator, GoMA

* Interview with the artist May 2016

The ambition of Deep in the Heart of Your Brain benefited from significant funding awarded by the Wellcome Trust in mid July 2015. Further support from Creative Scotland for Donachie has given her the scope to pursue research into the body of work she has developed over the last 15 years and Deep in the Heart of Your Brain is an opportunity to engage that research and practice with a wider audience. We are currently finalising plans for a symposium at PLATFORM on 4 November 2016 and looking forward to a series of workshops, events and talks, including one with Professor Tom Shakespeare on 28 October in Glasgow.

Deep in the Heart of Your Brain was reviewed by Moira Jeffrey (Scotland on Sunday), Laura Campbell (The List) and see the BBC interview (19 May 2016) here.

Untitled (2016), Kathleen and Lisa

Untitled (2016), Kathleen and Lisa

TRACES
Saturday 2nd July – Sunday 31st July 2016

Art in Hospital in partnership with Addaction

We are delighted to be working with Art in Hospital again on another exhibition for the balcony galleries at GoMA. Traces opened yesterday with a great event and will run until 31 July. You can’t miss it if you come into the gallery as the fantastic Exquisite Corpse collaborations, which have been printed on fabric, create a dramatic view up through the gallery.

This exhibition has been produced during a year-long Art in Hospital residency working with women supported by the Pregnancy and Early Years Service, Addaction, Glasgow. An exploration of wide ranging processes and media have resulted in a diverse body of work including cyanotypes, photographs, drawings, paintings, collages, prints and collaborative large scale textiles. Over the duration of the residency, the women have found their own ways of working within the parameters of each medium and have developed individual approaches to making artwork. The project has provided a platform for conversation, exchange and self-expression. This exhibition documents this process and some of the work that has been created as part of it. Accompanying the exhibition is a new publication featuring a commissioned response to the work by Rachel Lyon.

Art in Hospital is a centre for best practice in visual arts and medicine, placing the artists and their practice, the participant and their context at the core of its contemporary visual arts programme. A person centred, integrated approach which brings the visual arts into the context of health and medicine.

Traces was supported By Addaction, funded by Public Engagement, Creative Scotland. GoMA would like to thank all those involved from Art in Hospital and Addaction for their fantastic work on the project and exhibition.

More images from the show and the opening in the slideshow.

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Refugee Festival Scotland

Transit Zone, 16 – 26 June 2016
Balcony 1 & 2

Iman Tajik & Frederik Subei travelled to Calais, France, in 2015 where they spent time living with refugees in the makeshift campsite dubbed ‘The Jungle’, which was home to an estimated 6000 people.

The artists produced a series of atmospheric and moving photographs and films’ showing what life is like for refugees living day to day in The Jungle. Here, they exist in limbo, determined and full of hope of that one day they can cross the border to Britain and a better life.

The artists’ work in concerned with human rights, social events and politics and the influence of mainstream media on public perceptions about refugees and asylum seekers. Transit Zone offers an insight into the reality of life for refugees, behind today’s media.

Born in Tehran and living in Scotland for 4 years, multi-award winning photographer Iman Tajik is finding his voice in relation to a strong social interest – one that is true to his own and others’ experiences. Tajik is currently studying Fine Art Photography at Glasgow School of Art.

Frederik Subei is a documentary film maker with a passion for environmental subjects and human rights. Originally from Hamburg, Germany, he lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2015 he graduated with distinction in MA Film Directing (Documentary) from the Edinburgh College of Art. His documentary film Transit Zone is currently being shown at various film festivals.

This exhibition was supported by Scottish Refugee Council and Glasgow Museums.

Part of Scotland’s Year of Architecture, Innovation & Design 2016 and Refugee Festival Scotland, 14 – 26 June, celebrating the contribution refugees make to our rich and vibrant communities in Scotland and the welcome offered by local people. Refugee Festival Scotland centres around World Refugee Day which is marked globally every year on 20th June.

www.refugeefestivalscotland.co.uk #RefugeeFestScot

Scribbles by Hollybrook
13- 29 May 2016

Scribbles by Hollybrook is a social enterprise company established in January 2014 by the 3rd-year pupils at Hollybrook Academy, a school for pupils with additional support needs based in Glasgow.

They created Scribbles to display and sell pupils’ artwork as part of their 3rd-year business course. All proceeds from this go to The Royal Children’s Hospital, formally Yorkhill Children’s Hospital, a place the majority of them have attended throughout their life.

Since it was established, Scribbles have donated 100% of their profits, over £600, to Yorkhill Children’s Trust.

Scribbles has given the pupils an amazing opportunities to gain real world experiences and gain business skills while giving back to a great charity. They have partnered with IKEA, Glasgow, where they had an exhibition in 2014, and IKEA kindly supplied the frame for the exhibition in GoMA.

In 2015, pupils worked with McTear’s Auctioneers to set up an international online art auction. Natasha Raskin, McTear’s pictures specialist and a regular on the BBC’s Bargain Hunt and Antiques Road Trip, visited Hollybrook and demonstrated how to catalogue the pieces to sell online.

For the exhibition in GoMA the pupils took part in GoMA’s Creative Industries  workshops. Learning about the variety of skills and job roles that are involved in producing an exhibition, the pupils visited the Gallery, held team meeting with various departments such as marketing and logistics. They curated and installed the exhibition which ran from Friday  the 13th of June till Sunday the 29th of June, 2016.

To learn more about Scribbles at Hollybrook their website
www.hollybrook-sec.glasgow.sch.uk
Once on the website, click on the ‘Scribbles’ tab

To find out more about the Creative Industries and other schools workshops, visit www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums  click our online brochure, or phone our bookings hub on 0141 276 9505.

Ripples_rn03Rosalind Nashashibi
Ripples on the Pond
Thursday 21 April 2016
6 – 7.30 pm

Last night was the final event in the Ripples on the Pond programme before the exhibition closes. It was a beautiful screening programmed by Modern Edinburgh Film School in discussion with Nashashibi and thank you very much to everyone who came along to witness the works in the exhibition. A huge thank you to Rosalind Nashashibi and LUX, London for the chance to screen these works in the exhibition. Thank you also to Luke Collins for his calm and collected work as projectionist on the night, Rob Kennedy for his help with the gallery’s projector and foresight about the spare bulb! and Alex Hetherington for A Poetic Measurement in Ripples on the Pond.

The following is an edit of Alex Hetherington’s introduction.

My communications with Rosalind surrounded siting the works off-site, at the temporary studio and lecture spaces at Tontine House, in Trongate, and a wonderful idea that one of those spaces might be the room where Glasgow City Council once repaired its street lighting. This off-site idea, away from the gallery, away from the principal site of the art school made me interested in paring back the material behaviour of the museum and conduct her talk as a kind of spoken-word performance, through and with a selection of her films including Electrical Gaza (2015), and definitely an expansion on Carlo’s Vision (2011), so eloquently and magically expressed at An Endless Theatre. An Endless Theatre; the convergence of contemporary art and anthropology in observational cinema was a screening event and symposium at the University of Edinburgh programmed by the artist Karen Cunningham and Richard Braxtrom, a lecturer in film and anthropology. Rosalind screened Carlo’s Vision and then spoke about her work. I observed that thinking/speaking thing that I sense I might have, but to a different degree.

I envisaged the screening with Rosalind would be a studio discussion, masterclass and intimate portrait using conversation, film, stills, stopping the projector, moving between projectors, and microphones, and a relaxed sensibility, reproducing the agility of her thinking and talking as she discusses the development of her practice and its place alongside and within moving image histories, its generations and ideas and developments . The project here is part screening, part unfolding of a film essay, A Poetic Measurement,* the sister-collection that brings from the page and into the space of this collection. How Rosalind’s works work with the material in the exhibition, what it expands, voices, layers, changes and disrupts, how her eye becomes a camera. The film programme would have brought films by Nashashibi/Skaer, and discuss how artists might work with film as a medium together, but we decided to focus on three works from her practice. I wanted to also allow film to be seen in the place of drawing and for correlations to be revealed, as part of this year of discussion on film and works on paper, in this short event, and finally with the editions to allow film to return to works on paper, and to allow them to be distributed and remembered through that form.
* Commissioned for GoMA by Affiliate: Rethinking Collections, (a University of Glasgow programme funded by Creative Scotland)

The Screening

The Painter (2013)
An artist is at work in The Painter (2013)—uniformed elegantly in paint-splattered shoes and work-wear—yet another unseen artist is observing, directing, framing off-screen. Nashashibi films more than the work itself, and large, muscular, abstract paintings emerge from a combination of energetic and economic gestures. With unflinching pragmatism, the painter pushes and pours muted viscous matter, surprisingly, with a mop. Eventually, the focus shifts to a drawing of a smiling girl atop a horse—tail raised, issuing a pile of dung. It’s by the painter’s daughter. – See more here

Carlo’s Vision (2011)
“There is a young man, The Shit, and his fiancée, whose name, it seems, is Cinzia. At the start of the Vision these two young people are passing the traffic lights at the intersections of Via Casilina and Via di Torpignattara. Carlo, the one who is watching, observes them coming toward him: in fact, he is in the middle of Via di Torpignattara, on a cart with cork wheels, exactly like a director on a dolly. There is a long, slow backward tracking shot. Pulling the cart . . . are three Gods, whom Carlo, however, sitting on the tailgate, with his back to the shaft, cannot see.”
— Pier Paolo Pasolini, Petrolio.

So reads a passage from Pasolini’s sprawling, epic novel, Petrolio, first published in unfinished form seventeen years after his murder in 1975. Inspired by the film treatment style of this section of the novel, Nashashibi has taken the protagonists, the props and the location, transported them into the present day and used them as the departure point for her 16mm film,Carlo’s Vision. The result is a mixture of observational documentary and fiction, in which Carlo, contemplates the long march of a young man and his fiancée, while being towed backwards by three gods, two speaking and one silent. Although he has his back to them he can hear what they are thinking, as two distinct interior monologues. The two prophetic figures provide an interpretation of what Carlo is witnessing, commenting on the past and present governance of Rome, and focusing on class and sexuality as manipulated today by Italy’s power structures.

Jack Straw’s Castle (2009)
Jack Straw’s Castle – the title is itself a ruse: the film is named for a Hampstead pub, not the UK’s Secretary of State for Justice – is all about the time and space of rehearsal: in both halves of the film, the milieu is male and the rules of the ritual being enacted remain enigmatic to the viewer, whose gaze is both an invasion of privacy and an invitation to perform. (Nashashibi’s own mother appears in the second half of the film, apparently playing the director for whom the whole spectacle is being composed). A theatrical rehearsal, as Shakespeare’s ‘rude mechanicals’ discover, is a curious space and time in which one performs the role of actor and acted – the mask slips, unfinished scenery fails to convince, timings are botched and bathos or obscenity intrudes: ‘I kiss the wall’s hole, not your lips at all.’ The film folds back on itself, suggesting that its verité first half is a carefully erected sham.

As part of Nashashibi’s most expansive solo show to date, in 2009, Jack Straw’s Castle was the more suggestive of two new works concerned with aspects of rehearsal and performance.

Rollcall of Thanks
I had a wonderful talk with Rosalind in her studio at Bluecoat in Liverpool and the structure for the screening came out of that conversation.

I’d also like to thank Katie Bruce, everyone at GoMA, LUX, LUX Scotland, Tina Fiske, Sarah Neely, Richard Taylor, Ainslie Roddick, Francis McKee, Luke Collins, Ben Cook, everyone at GSS, everyone at CCA, especially Kenny Christie, the team at Old Hairdressers, Jenny Brownrigg at GSA, Laura Edbrook and MAP, and the artists Catherine Street, Allison Gibbs, Rosalind Nashashibi, Anne-Marie Copestake, Mairi Lafferty, Annabel Nicholson, Ruth Barker, Karen Cunningham, Sarah Forrest, Lauren Gault and Anne Colvin for hard work, generosity, space and time, insights, wonderful events and total confidence in the project and me; equally to the speakers Iain Morrison, Glyn Davis, Suzanne van der Lingen and Angela McClanahan. Also to artists like Oliver Mezger, Lucy Reynolds and to Richard Taylor for offering up insights into the practice of writing about and speaking about moving image. A special thanks to the audiences who came and came back to the gallery and its events.

Alex Hetherington, April 2015

Rosalind Nashashibi Biography

Rosalind Nashashibi, born 1973 in Croydon, UK, studied at Glasgow School of Art. She has had numerous solo shows including those at Tate Britain; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver; ICA London; Bergen Kunsthall; Berkeley Art Museum. She represented Scotland at the 52nd Venice Biennale, and has participated in Manifesta 7, Sharjah 10 and the 5th Berlin Biennial with Lucy Skaer in their collaboration as Nashashibi/Skaer. She presented a solo show at Objectif Exhibitions in Antwerp in 2014 and an Imperial War Museum commission on Gaza in 2015. She lives and works in Liverpool.

Rosalind Nashashibi works with film, sculpture, print and photography. Her films combine close observation of everyday life with dramatically constructed scenes, in order to reveal the friction that occurs between the real and the fantastical or mythological. Her works often explore issues of control, internalized in citizens or exerted by the state.

MAKE YOURSELF

It started with an email conversation between the GSA lecturer Rachael Grew and GoMA about how her Gender and Identity course for 3rd year students at the GSA could connect in with the exhibition Ripples on the Pond. The team here at GoMA offered some ideas and the students met, firstly with Rachael, then with staff at GoMA. The interested students decided to do a workshop and spent time developing their ideas and responses to the works in Gallery 4.

The workshops took place last weekend and thanks to everyone who came along and took part, even the nursery group who turned up on Monday had a go! This weekend we have opened up a space in Gallery 4, currently between installations, for a pop-up exhibition of the collages made last weekend, which have been turned into a sculptural version of ‘consequences’: the game where you add a new body and limbs to the head you choose. It will only be open this weekend so if you took part in the workshop come along and find your work. Also we would love to hear your thoughts tweet or instagram using #MAKEYOURSELF or #GlasgowGoMA.

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From the GSA students:
The Make yourself?! workshop started as an extension of our studies on the Gender and Identity course at Glasgow School of Art. In response to the Ripples on the Pond exhibition at GoMA, we decided to focus on the themes of body and identity that are present in all the works shown. We worked with the medium of collage that invited children and adult participants to explore these deep and important themes in a more engaging and playful manner, allowing them to reimagine their own bodies and identities both individually and collaboratively.

We purposefully limited the amount of “human” collage materials to encourage participants to recreate themselves in an unconventional way, opening up the discussion about the nature of identity.

We invite you to take part in this exploration of identity and body, and interact with the collaborative sculptures exhibited.

Be playful.
Alina, Shareen and Vivienne
Thanks to everyone who took part in the workshops last weekend

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