Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art Review

As promised earlier in the week, Slamxhype, deliver a review of events at the Glasgow International Visual Art Festival.  The festival has brought together some of the most illustrious names in contemporary art such as Jim Lambie and David Shrigley, combining them with cult underground artists such as Benny Merris.

Jim Lambie (Metal Urbain) – Taking its name from the 1970’s Post-Punk band which inspired cultural icons such as Jesus and Marychain, this exhibition is delivered with Lambie’s usual precission and expertise.  Visitors are gearted from the exterior by a large glass window which allows a glimpse into a large ‘white space’ with flashes of the vivid colour choices which have made Lambie so renowned.  Inside, 7 suits of crushed armour (taken from Metal Urbain’s 1985 album cover) sit on top of concrete plinths, each incorporating the word ‘knight’ into their title.  The suits which are mixed with abstract objects such as speakers and leather belts are juxtaposed by large colourful peeled metal sheets on the wall.  These peeled sheets suggest and inner world, filled with depth and intrigue as a contrast to the bland nature of concerte and material objects. The floor is decorated with maetal sheets and large mirros, suggesting the material world which ‘we’ the viewer are part of.  The exhibition is unmistakably engaing and thought provoking, perhaps more so than some of Lambie’s previous work – this however is no bad thing.  It demonstrates that he is constantly evolving as an artsit and is prepared to accept new challeneges.  The exhibtion is a contrast of Knights and ‘Nightmares’ of the cold and harsh realities of materilaism which viewers are encourages to escape into Lambie’s colourful world.


Fiona Tan (Tomorrow): Sitauted in the awe inspiring surrounding of The Gallery of Modern Art, Fiona Tan had perhaps the easiest challenge of creating a piece of work which would be forever remebered by viewers. This Indonesian artist who has represented the Netherlands at the Venice Biennale  here utilised a video installation to capture viewers.  Within an otherwise dark hall with 30ft ceilings and classical architecture, Tan set up two screens.  A small 4ft suspended screen shows distant images of a row of teenagers, filmed in Stockholm in 2005, whilst the largeer, which sits approximately 5 meteres behind, shows close up images of the same group.  On this larger screen we truly get a sense of facial emotions, allowing us to explore the poignancy of early adulthood and the new and somewhat frightening experinces it brings.  This poetic outlook on young people demonstrates the way in which they are sometimes looked over in society, whislt the silent film allows the viewer to implement their own feelings, giving possibilty to a sesne of transference back to our own youth, in what is a truly remarkable piece of work.


David Shrigley at Kelvingrove: At the most prestigious museum and art Gallery in Glasgow, David Shrigley is elected as the artist to showcase his work.  The internatioanlly famed artist, has utilised the backdrop of this 19th century building as inspiration behind this small yet intriguing exhibition.  Visitors are met on arrival with a tuffed animal hold a holding a plackard featuring the text “I’m Dead”, setting the satirical nature of other pieces.  Glass cabinets contain some pieces which already belong to the museum, for a example a bell, which Shrigley has added his own note to: “Not to be rung until Jesus returns”.  Other pieces such as cermaic cups and accompanied by sketches with annotatations such as: ‘Disputed Terriotory’ and ‘Tooth Like Surface’.  All of this points to Shrigley’s sense of humour, in that he redicules the meaning we attach to objects, when in reality we hold no true sense of past civilizations.  The last exhibit seen before exiting is a metre long silver finger standing erect.  This appears to offer the viewer a chance to attatch their own meaning to an ‘artefact’, whether that be spiritual or cultural from the past.



An Interview with underground cult artist Benny Merris, taking a look at his guerilla exhibition at the festival, will follow shortly