CCA Highlights July 2015

Feature by Kate Pasola | 30 Jun 2015
  • Hands Dancing - Ian Smith Hands 1

Okay, deep breaths. We know you’ve just come back from a fortnight in Portugal and the thought of navigating Scotland’s mania of aestival arts has left you cupping a paper bag to your face. Let’s start with what’s going on over at CCA – you like it there, remember? Tell you what, here’s a wee pick’n’mix of our favourites from their latest programme – stick’em in your calendar and you’ll be back in the swing of it all in no time.

First up we’ve got fugue states, an exhibition marrying the artistic might of Lauren Gault and Allison Gibbs. Making an inquiry into sensory and extra-sensory experience, the collaboration is a ‘multitimbral’ affair which smudges the line between what’s tangible, what isn’t, and what could be on closer inspection. Gault explores thresholds, physical states and the moments of flux between; filling ‘invisible’ perspex containers, using towels to separate the wet from the dry, and exploring the moistness held in materials like silica. Gibbs darns newer elements of film and installation into her original work Our Extra-Sensory Selves. Check out the exhibition 25 Jul-6 Sep, join the discursive development circle on 26 Jul or participate in a Q&A on 20 Aug.

Continuing the the theme of multiple disciplines, we move onto The Festival of Ian Smith. Known widely for his 22 years as artistic director of Mischief La Bas, the late and chronically modest Smith was a self-proclaimed “jack of all trades, master of none.” We prefer the turn of phrase ‘fingers in many an artsy pie,’ but it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. The festival will showcase a tasty medley of his film, art, performance, and music. You’ll also get a glimpse of his ‘pulptures’ (“like paintings or sculptures, but not as good.” Again, Smith’s words, not ours). Get yourself down for a slice of those artsy pies immediately (peas not included).

And, to complete our hattrick of recommended genre-melanges, we’re all eyes and ears for Unfix festival. Taking place during the second weekend of July (10-12), the event is a fiesta of ecological and spiritual exploration. Think beyond environmental art; Unfix’s jams are politics, economics, spirituality, health and learning human value beyond productivity. In other words, artistically confronting the fact we’re a bunch of digi-nutters who get off on updating our LinkedIn profiles. If you’re feeling like a creaky cog in a broken machine, think of it as the aloe vera to your frazzled faith in humanity. Times and ticket prices vary, so check out CCA’s website for ticketing info.

If you’re not done soothing your soul, CCA also holds promise for those looking to gig their way to serenity. 24 Jul sees embroiderer of electro-folk C Duncan bringing a full band before his fattening fan-base. The event marks the release of his wildly anticipated debut album Architect. It’s a Fleet-Foxish sound, at times Pulp-esque, and with pleasing mille-feuille melodies that square up to the likes of Alt-J. Do the intricacy justice and catch it live. You’ll be left wide-eyed and trance-like on the train home. In a good way.

And finally, rugby-tackling us back down to earth is the screening of comic adaptation classic American Splendor. Critically exalted, the picture examines life’s quotidians and chores with both realist charm and an archer’s accuracy. To quote original series creator and star of the movie Harvey Pekar, “ordinary life is pretty complex stuff” – and American Splendor pulls off the task with triumph. And for afters, Gareth K. Vile (our former Theatre Ed, no less) will host Issue 1, a comic creators’ mini-conference open to people of all skills and abilities. Stick around and you’ll get access to lecture workshops, discussion groups and informal drawing and collaboration (1 Jul).