The CCA lives up to its name this autumn with a fine spread of contemporary art, music, and film events – we big up some faves
November. Yeah, we know, how’d that happen? One minute you’re just getting used to that tepid breeze we begrudgingly label ‘summer’, the next it’s already autumn, which is, let’s face it, an off-brand winter with just as much cause for knitwear and hats and remembering how to work the central heating in your badly insulated flat. For those cockles in dire need of warming, both literally and spiritually (arts, we’re talking about the arts), head to Glasgow’s CCA. But what to see, we imagine you pleading. Panic not, and read on, for we’ve got some suggestions.
Its 11-day run finishes up on Sun 8 Nov, but if you haven’t been yet, you really must check out phwoar-worthy sonic arts festival Sonica. The annual showcase typifies much of what makes Glasgow great: a one-of-a-kind blend of disciplines, centred around an interface between sound, visual art, and digital technologies, presenting work from British and international artists. Such as Cryptic Associate Kathy Hinde’s Tipping Point, a water-levels-in-vessels-based sonic artwork, or Olivier Ratsi’s (of ‘visual label’ Antivj fame) mesmeric perspective-mapping piece Onion Skin.
Jumping ahead to December (keep up!) but on a similarly artistic bent, Glaswegian outfit YAKA Collective open their White Mountain exhibition (Sat 12 Dec-Wed 6 Jan) in the Intermedia Gallery. YAKA’s seven artists focus on ‘activating spaces’; this is actually the second in a pair of exhibitions, the first being Black Hole, which ran in October at Trongate 103 and served as a collaborative, investigative project in preparation for White Mountain. Both works deal with the unknown, with paradoxes and quandaries, and react in some way to the spaces in which they’re placed.
Back to November, and to change topic completely, Albert Hammond Jr. (you know, that guy from that band) is touring off the back of his third solo album Momentary Masters, and stops by the CCA to play a few hits. ‘That band’ is of course The Strokes, but he’s now very much an established artist with his own distinct style. Check out him and his melodic alt-rock entourage on Saturday 21 November.
More music? Sure! More music by a soloist from a popular indie band? Okay, that’s a lot more specific, but how about this: Euros Childs, erstwhile frontman to twinkly troupe Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, comes to CCA on Wednesday 9 December. Latest record Sweetheart dropped in October and marks album number 11 for the cheerful Welshman. We're only looking out for your health: his sunny tunes will be the closest you’ll get to vitamin D this winter.
How’s this for a segue: before we recommend a couple of quality film-related events, why not see a film about music? And one about no less than the late seminal soul poet Gil Scott-Heron. Black Wax (Sun 15 Nov) is a 1982 documentary which features not only live performances of the legend but also him giving a ‘walking tour’ of Washington D.C. within a racial context. The revolution may not be televised, but... yeah, nevermind. See this!
More films! We’ve picked out two gems in December. Watch Bad Movies With Great Comedians (Wed 2 Dec) literally requires no explanation except that this is an extra special, pre-that-new-Star-Wars-coming-out screening of the lesser-known Star Wars Holiday Special. The A.V. Club is “not convinced the special wasn’t ultimately written and directed by a sentient bag of cocaine.” No pithy blurb could possibly prepare you for this only-broadcast-once 1978 TV movie, so you may as well watch it with a howling live commentary from Joe Heenan and Billy Kirkwood.
In the wake of the inaugural Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF) in September, follow-up strand I Do? is screening the radical Homotopia (Tue 15 Dec), a queer critique of the politics and expectations of ‘gay marriage’. The film is accompanied by a handful of other short films, as well as a Q&A with Argentinian LGBTQ activist AB Silvera. Former editor of Irish LGBTQ magazine BoLT, the cynical, sardonic Silvera can now be found hosting Subcity Radio’s 30 km/s, “a show about radical politics,” usually around 6pm on certain Fridays.