This Week in Scottish Art: Embassy, Tramway & more

Our guide to a week packed with events and exhibitions, including a performance event at new artists' space Celine, and shows at Embassy, Transmission, Good Press and more.

Feature by Adam Benmakhlouf | 26 Jan 2016

Begin the art week with a visit to Fruitmarket Gallery’s Café Des Artistes from 6-8pm on Wed 27 Jan. Two expert speakers will be on hand to facilitate a discussion of the world of Dan Flavin. Beginning his career as an Abstract Expressionist, Flavin’s work moved on from 1961 onwards to consist most famously of commercially manufactured fluorescent tubes. At the time of writing, tickets are still available – so move fast – it's free to book and no prior knowledge is assumed, so come and learn through chat.

Thursday sees the last of Transmission’s extended artist’s talks, with Erica Scourti given the stage. Scourti works extensively with video, and often incorporates new technologies into her practice. She will show new work “coming out of her recent research into and personal experience of darkness, unintelligibility and withdrawal.” Recent video work Negative Docs uses “sentiment analysis software, voice-search and speed-reading apps” as a critique of the kind of grandiose claims to self-improvement made of these kinds of resources. Free to attend, no need to book, Thursday at 7pm.

Also in Glasgow this Thursday, at Tramway from 7.30-9pm, there is a screening of the work of Berlin-based artist Rosa Barba. In her films Barba looks towards cinematic conventions, and in particular landscapes from traditional cinema. In the two works that will be screened this Thursday, there are various interests on display. The dematerialisation of the digital age is tackled in Subconscious Society (2014), while The Empirical Effect (2009) sees Barba incorporate a historical catastrophe – the eruption of The Vesuvio Volcano in 1944 – as a metaphor of the complex relationships between society and politics in Italy. Tickets can be booked in advance via Tramway and cost £5/3. Here’s a short teaser trailer for the first film, Subconscious Society.

In Edinburgh, also at 7pm this Thursday, Embassy presents Everything is deeply intertwingled. This discussion event invites some of the exhibitors of current exhibition setBackground to discuss the themes of their respective practices, including responses to archival images and objects and provenance of artistic materials. There will also be a screening of 2014 film All That is Solid, which looks to “e-recycling and neo-colonial mining, filmed in Agbogbloshie electronic waste ground in Accra and illegal gold mines in Ghana”.

In new Glasgow space Celine this Sunday at 3.30pm, there’s a performance event which brings together five artists who share interests in “subjects of biology, environmental issues or science fiction.” For the event, performer Phoebe Amis will read out the submitted texts. Accompanying the readings, there will be a live demonstration of the “Halo Harp, a cross-beamed, laser based musical instrument, produced in Glasgow”. The instrument will be introduced by a physicist, then a piece composed for the instrument specifically will be played.

This Saturday, there’s a nice afternoon down to be had in and around the Trongate, between Good Press Gallery and Street Level Photoworks. Two separate but related solo presentations have their opening receptions in Street Level, with artists’ presentations from 2.30-3pm. Both photographers Liza Dracup and Ulla Schildt have engaged with certain re-presentations of “the natural”; for Dracup, this has involved photographing taxidermied animals, while Schildt looks towards the built sets in natural history museums as means of allowing safe experience of natural phenomena.

Shuffle down the road a little to Good Press, and there’s an opening for American visual artist Sophia Belkin. Belkin presents an exhibition of work and launches a new publication, both entitled Spring Is Like A Perhaps Hand. Belkin’s work so far has spanned several publications, including one called Chanterelle Sip, “a printed culmination of three years of an ongoing chanterelle foraging exhibition” in Southeastern Louisiana. Drawings, photographs, collages and screenshots are are combined to produced rich and evocative works. Preview the latest of Belkin’s works from 3pm until 6pm, buy a book, enjoy some of the provided drinks, have a good time. The exhibition continues until 5 March.

Also continuing this week in the Glue Factory is Obliques Part 3, for which ten artists have responded in an intense week of making works based on a game of chance. It’s a part of an experimental curatorial project, and continues until 7 February, open Thursday and Friday 3-7pm and Saturday and Sunday 12-6pm.