CCA Highlights - Sep/Oct 2016

We’ve a couple of months of dissidence coming up at Glasgow’s CCA in September and October, with artists, musicians, indie labels and festival curators who are kicking back against the tentacles of capitalism and social inequality in our society

Preview by Jamie Dunn | 05 Sep 2016

You’ll find all of the above in Pio Abad’s new show, Notes on Decomposition (16 Sep-30 Oct). The London-based, Manila-born artist studied at the Glasgow School of Art, and returns to his old stomping ground with an exhibition mapping out our current state of cultural disenchantment through a collection of objects bought and sold at historically significant auctions, such as the 2010 Lehman Brothers sale, the first auction by Christie’s on mainland China in 2013 and the 2015 auction of Margaret Thatcher’s personal items. Through large-scale drawings of these objects, all seemingly tainted with greed and corruption, Abad creates a narrative linking the politics surrounding these cultural artefacts back to the exploitation of his home country, the Philippines.

The exhibition also includes Abad's Not A Shield, but a Weapon, a wickedly satirical piece featuring 100 replicas of one of Thatcher’s handbags that was sold in auction for £25,000 by disgraced Tory tosspot Jeffrey Archer; each counterfeit handbag is on sale throughout the exhibition for the same asking price if you're feeling flush. Abad will be 'in conversation' at the CCA on 25 Oct to articulate and expand on some of the show's themes with curator Natasha Ginwala. Going once, going twice. Sold.

You’ll find a similar radical wit at Scottish Queer International Film Festival (29 Sep-2 Oct), which once again brings an accessible and thoughtful array of queer cinema to Glasgow. As with last year’s inaugural event, there’s a great range of LGBT feature films, docs and shorts exploring a wide range of themes, from ageing to disability to gender. We’re particularly looking forward to SQIFF’s horror strand, which will out films like Fright Night and The Haunting as queer touchstones. No outing required for A Nightmare on Elm Street 2  however, just look at its tagline: “the man of your dreams is back.”

Robyn Hitchcock (29 Oct) is another great dissident who's carved out his own fascinating career outside the mainstream. He returns to Glasgow on the back of most recent album The Man Upstairs, a bittersweet love letter to a vanishing world, and if you’re new to this wonderful singer-songwriter, expect a potent blend of folk and psychedelia combined with a wry British nihilism. With the world looking more and more like one of Hitchcock's surreal visions, the time is perfect to soak up a night inside his song’s loopy realities.

An independent spirit is also the driving force of Red Squirrel Press (22 Sep), who for ten years have been introducing readers to the finest emerging writers through their self-funded imprint. They’ve four more indie titles launching this month: William Bonar’s poetry pamphlet Offering; Carolyn Patricia Richardson’s debut poetry pamphlet, Scots’ Rock; Sheila Templeton’s Split Screen Anthology; and Tim Turnbull’s short story collection, Silence and Other Stories.

Finally, the mighty Take One Action (14-25 Sep) return with a righteous and invigorating line-up of films tackling the key themes facing the world today, including women’s empowerment, refugee integration, fighting austerity and global warming. What’s so wonderful about Take One Action! is that in the face of this doom and gloom, the festival always finds slivers of hope, from festival opener Tomorrow to Ken Loach’s deeply humane I, Daniel Blake, which closes the festival. Just as galvanising as all the films are the fiery and impassioned post-film discussions that take place throughout the festival. Get angry, be inspired and take action!