Glasgow International announces 2020 programme

France-Lise McGurn, Nep Sidhu, Duncan Campbell, Luke Fowler and Sarah Forrest are among the artists taking part in Glasgow International 2020

Article by Jamie Dunn | 18 Sep 2019
  • Quarantaine (2020)

GI is back, and we're not talking about your complex carbohydrate intake. The biennial art extravaganza Glasgow International returns in April with a huge lineup and the theme 'Attention'. “This idea of how we pay attention to something or how we attend to ourselves and each other is something we’ve sought to consider both in our approach to curating the festival and also how we have remodelled the Across the City open programme, so that every selected freelance project is now funded," says GI's director, Richard Parry.

The funding to which Parry refers, all £100,000 of it, comes from the Scottish Government’s EXPO Fund and will enable more commissions from artists based in the city. Around 60 new exhibitions and events are planned at GI 2020, taking place in venues and spaces across Glasgow, ranging from the city's great galleries and museums to more alternative venues, like a former sex club.

Tramway exhibitions

Tramway will once again be one of GI's key spaces, and will host a new exhibition by the American artist Martine Syms, who uses a combination of 2D, installation and digital media to examine black identity and representation.

Also at Tramway will be Quarantaine, a new film by British video artist Georgina Starr. Told over multiple chapters, we're told Quarantaine "follows the initiation of two new recruits into a mysterious, clandestine sisterhood whose pursuit of esoteric knowledge takes place in a secret house of instruction."

The first UK showing of the intricate utopian townscape models of Bodys Isek Kingelez will also take place at Tramway, while Jenkin van Zyl, at 26 the youngest artist in the GI 2020 programme, pops up in the same venue with an installation concerned with performance and queerness, which we're told "harnesses motifs and triggers of both pleasure and consensual violence, generating a compelling confrontation with the viewer."

Kelvin Hall shows

One of GI 2020's key exhibitions looks to be the new large-scale commission by Irish born, Glasgow based video artist Duncan Campbell. The Turner-prize winner's new piece takes the form of electromagnetic displays and incorporates animation and sound.

Campbell's film plays at Kelvin Hall, which will also be home to Tokyo-based installation artist Yuko Mohri. The former entrance foyer will host Mohri's new commission which "reconfigures found objects and everyday items into kinetic sculptures," according to the press release, and will "showcase the artist’s characteristic use of sound and materials". Mohri's fellow sculptor and installation artist Ana Mazzei, from Brazil, will occupy a wing of Kelvin Hall with her GI artwork.

What's on at Kelvingrove

Across the road at Kelvingrove, you'll find an in-depth retrospective of the work of Carol Rhodes, who died last year, aged just 59. Bringing to the fore her drawings, many of which are previously unseen, the exhibition takes place in the temporary space on the lower floor of the museum. Upstairs in Kelvingrove, meanwhile, you'll find a new installation by Glasgow-based artist France-Lise McGurn, whose figurative paintings, we're told, "can be seen to express notions of sexuality, ecstasy, consciousness and loss."

Other venues across Glasgow

Canadian artist Nep Sidhu's work drawing on episodes in Sikh history and contemporary culture will be on display at The Gallery of Modern Art. Sarah Forrest, meanwhile, considers elements of theory, fiction and philosophy in her new film exploring the notion of the unreliable narrator – that's at new GI venue Langside Halls.

There's plenty more going on at GI in the form of the Across the City programme, selected this year by Eoin Dara, Head of Exhibitions at Dundee Contemporary Arts, Hanne Mugaas, Director Kunsthal Stavanger and artist Alberta Whittle, alongside members of the GI team.

Berlin-based artist Jimmy Robert will explore the intersections between art history and subjectivity; works by the late Donald Rodney, an artist concerned with identity, new media and new technologies, will take place at the Gallery Celine; and at Glasgow Women’s Library, Ingrid Pollard will "activate the Lesbian Archive," meaning she'll utilise the library's vast collection of materials relating to Lesbian culture and history in the UK.

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1964 film Comizi d’amore is the inspiration for Sharon Hayes’s Ricerche suite of films, presented by the Common Guild. The Modern Institute will showcase new solo exhibitions by Eva Rothschild and Luke Fowler, the former on display at the Aird’s Lane venue and the latter at Osborne Street.

This is just a fraction of what's on offer during GI, which takes place 24 Aprril to 10 May. For full details, head to