This Week in Scottish Art: 14-20 February

This week brings the announcement of the Margaret Tait Award, the newest edition of the Royal Scottish Academy New Contemporaries, Glasgow Open House Party tonight and a new event as part of the ambitious Cooper Gallery show When Gesture Becomes Event.

Article by Holly Gavin | 14 Feb 2017

Tue 14 Feb: The Old Hairdressers

Head to the Old Hairdressers tonight for Glasgow Open HouseParty a silent auction from 7-9pm followed by a party on til late on all three floors of their tenement. All proceeds from the auction of works by artists and entry based on donations will go to fund the 2017 Glasgow Open House Festival and their outreach workshops.

Wed 15 Feb: Koppe Astner and Cooper Gallery

Head to Koppe Astner between 12-6pm today to see Craig Mulholland’s new solo exhibition Say What You Mean Say What You Say.

Platform: Contemporary Voices opens in Edinburgh from 7-9pm tonight. This group show is part of Edinburgh Student Art Festival (ESAF) and includes work about controversial current realities, (like cultural identity and its complexities, mental health taboos, environmental issues and the migrant crisis in Europe), which need to be explored. Pieces by over twenty artists and artist collectives will be on display. There will be three performances from in the first hour followed by a DJ from 8pm. The exhibition will be on till Tuesday, 21 February; visit anytime 10am-5pm.

Cooper Gallery in Dundee is screening Nightcleaners Part 1 (filmed from 1972, released 1975) by Berwick Street Film Collective, (Marc Karlin, Mary Kelly, James Scott and Humphry Trevelyan), this evening from 6.30-8.30pm as part of their extensive programme of accompanying events for their current exhibition Chapter 2 Of Other Spaces: When Does Gesture Become Event? The film documents unjust labour conditions of women nightcleaners cleaning office blocks in the 1970s and follows their campaign to unionise. Nightcleaners Part 1 was initially produced as a campaign film, but the campaign’s complexity stemming from forces at work between the unions, the cleaners and the Cleaners’ Action Group. Nightcleaners Part 1 is celebrated as an achievement of collective feminist filmmaking and recognised as a significant precedent to moving-image practices and political art today. Mary Kelly’s film WLM Demo Remix features in the exhibition on display until 4 March; visit 9.30am-5pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30am-4.30pm on Saturdays.

Thu 16 Feb: GoMA and GFT

Polygraphs previews in GoMA’s Gallery 4 today from 5.30-7.30pm. The group exhibition features work by 17 artists including the Boyle Family, Ian Hamilton Finlay, David Hockney and Barbara Kruger drawn from Glasgow Museums’ Collection centred around Hito Steyerl’s Abstract, which deals with evidence, truth and fiction in a complicated world. The works on display are an amalgamation of older and more recent pieces, which document a changing global environment and current international discourses to engage audiences. The selected works also reflect their entry into museum collections and question dominant historical and political narratives.

Kate Davis is presenting Margaret Tait’s Blue Black Permanent at the CCA from 6-7.30pm on the occasion of her screening at the Margaret Tait Award at GFT this Monday. Blue Black Permanent is Margaret Tait’s only feature film, which follows the Orcadian protagonist’s, Barbara, efforts to understand her past. The film is structured as a 'Russian Doll' narrative based in its protagonist’s present, but interspersed with flashbacks to her mother Greta’s and grandmother Mary’s lives. Davis has also selected Margaret Raspé’s short film Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow – Let Them Swing for screening before Tait’s main feature. Tickets cost £10, (£8 concession rate), and are available here of at the GFT’s box office.  

Fri 17 Feb: Market Gallery

1957 Chevy Apparition, an exhibition of films by Ross Little, Florrie James and Lester Alvarez Meno, previews at Market Gallery from 6-9pm tonight. There is a series of three short films made collaboratively by Little and James reflecting on their time spent in Havana, Cuba. Real and imagined experiences and narratives presented as documentary and fiction are included alongside each other to represent contradictions and dissonances in Cuban history and politics. Meno presents an experimental documentary of artist and poet Rafael Almanza Alonso’s performance based on Herman Hesse’s The Glass Bead Game. Alonso is unrecognised by the Cuban state and presents his work in his home to a small audience. Meno’s (2014) film of the same title marks the beginning of the artist’s exploration into the presentation of un-officialised and unpublished art in Cuba. The exhibition will continue til 12 March, open Thursday-Sunday 11am-5pm.

Sat 18 Feb: Royal Scottish Academy, Glasgow University and Tramway

Today is the first day of New Contemporaries at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. Work by 65 recent graduates selected from their 2016 degree shows in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Highlands. New Contemporaries is in its ninth year; the annual selections continue to present exciting opportunities to see diverse work by Scotland’s emerging talent. You can see our extended preview of some of the artists here

The exhibition will run until 15 March, visit Monday to Saturday from 10am-5pm and from 12-5pm on Sundays, admission costs £5, (£3 concession rate) and includes an exhibition catalogue.  

The Adam World Choir and Queen Jesus Plays present Beyond the Binary: Trans Artists in the Digital World from 2-4pm at Glasgow University (Gilmore Centre 9, University Avenue).The event will explore how the use of digital media by trans and non-binary artists on a global scale can make a difference. Writer and performer Jo Clifford and director Susan Worsfold will present an extract from their film The Gospel According to Jesus Queen of Heaven before discussing the impact of their version of the play in Brazil with the Brazilian production team based in São Paulo via a live link. Marc David Jacobs from the Scottish Queer International Film Festival, artist and activist Kate O’Donnell and musician and producer Kerry JK will also be present to examine the role of digital art in achieving social and political change.

Kerry JK is also launching Songs from the New Genderation, a new album from the Adam World Choir, which brings together voices from online non-binary and trans communities as part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s 2017 production of Adam. The entire event will be live-streamed on the National Theatre of Scotland's Youtube Live channel. Admittance is free, but spaces must be reserved here via Eventbrite.

Claire Barclay is giving a talk at Tramway this afternoon from 4-5pm on her new exhibition Yield Point, a large-scale installation created onsite. This event is free and unticketed.

Sun 19 Feb: Kelvingrove Museum, City Art Centre, Embassy Gallery, Fruitmarket Gallery, DCA and Generator Projects

There are several exhibitions ending today. Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is open from 11am-5pm. Admission costs £5, (£3 concession rate).

In Edinburgh, visit A Sketch of the Universe: Art, Science and the Influence of D’arcy Thompson featuring works inspired by Thompson’s scientific discoveries at the City Art Centre from 12-5pm, cost of entry is free.

Catch I can’t be inside and outside at the same time featuring work by Alima Askew, Gordon Douglas and Mette Sterne at EMBASSY Gallery today from 12-6pm. Today is also the last day to see William Kentridge and Vivienne Koorland’s Conversations in Letters and Lines tackling racism and division in South Africa and in world history at the Fruitmarket Gallery from 11am-5pm. Also on today at the Fruitmarket Gallery is One Night Without Us: Against Xenophobia, a free screening coinciding the last day of the exhibition with the United Nations Day of Social Justice and One Day Without Us, a national day of action celebrating contribution to the UK by migrants. The event from 6-9pm will also feature poetry readings and an open-mic night on the subjects of xenophobia and racism.

In Dundee, DCA Thomson at DCA, (open from 10am-6pm), and the Members’ Show at Generator Projects, (open from 12-5pm), are closing.

Mon 20 Feb: GFT

The Margaret Tait Award is Glasgow Film Festival’s (GFF) annual award, which is named after acclaimed Scottish experimental filmmaker Margaret Tait and celebrates the work of Scottish and Scotland-based artists working experimentally and innovatively in film and moving-image takes place at GFT from 6.45-7.45pm this evening. The award is supported by Creative Scotland and LUX. The recipient of the award will be named at the screening. Kate Davis will (world) premiere her new moving-image piece inspired by Tait’s contemplation of everyday activities and fundamental emotions, which often pass overlooked. In her new film, Davis reimagines these essential, but often invisible and unpaid processes of care. Collect free tickets from the GFT’s box office today, open from 5pm.