Echo & Narcissus review by Richard Taylor
Every year emerging artists make the most of the platform that is Intermedia, and proposals flood the inbox of the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow. Run by Glasgow Life, the gallery itself, having been lifted from the city’s artist-led domain on the other side of town, is now placed on the top floor of CCA within an ‘internationally respected environment’.
‘Echo & Narcissus’ is a three-person show bringing together Glasgow School of Art 2009 BA graduate Carrie Skinner, MFA graduate Hirofumi Suda and Colin Lindsay, an early ‘90s graduate from Duncan of Jordanson College of Art and Design in Dundee. His handcrafted sculpture ‘Still Rivers’ binds the narrative edge of the show together. Constructed in summer 2010 ‘Still Rivers’ refers to Lindsay’s experience in stage and gallery management. It is a ‘solid stage’ built from concretised rivers across the country (Carron, Coe etc). Each brick tells its own story, yet as a whole the sculpture gives a ‘physical silence’, a reference to John Cage’s 4’33.
The stage adjacent to Lindsay’s construction is Skinner’s ‘Just like a prayer, I’ll take you there’. The performative element of Skinner’s gothic archway and its narrative arc is intoxicated with black satin, painted board and pinnacles wrapped in fake gold. It is a stage prop that can be examined closely out with the illusion of theatricality, as the other side of the arc is left bare revealing its physical build. Faith structures and opposite sides of ritual are tentatively approached here: on the opening night, hooded figures emerged from the fire escape in pairs and approached the artwork, to cherish and guard gothic emblems within the arch’s bounds. Skinner’s work has a strange power of interactive persuasion built from our own perception of what is real, what is fake and what is necessary. In their failing majesty these built fabrications match her ideas on falsity and absurdity in the religious act.
Hirofumi Suda’s ‘Empty Orchestra’, is a bricolage of sculpture in the form of instruments that make very little sound. Nearby is an oil painting orchestrated across three boards hinged together creating another arc - an arc of a book with a spine hanging from the ceiling. Suda is well known for setting out possible objects and scenes within a ‘narrative machine’. ‘Empty Orchestra’ reflects upon possibilities and displacements in visual narratives. Even his brush marks are distant as he paints another world, a contemporary wormhole of colour that could wash towards - by way of Surrealist landscape - the myth of Narcissus itself. Much like the transition of Skinner’s arc, on one side you are presented with the wanderings of wanting more and on the other you’re confronted with something of a missed opportunity and re-placed back in reality.
Intermedia’s structure as a gallery - artists apply and are often grouped together during the selection process - enforces the ‘artist as curator’ scenario, which can be a tricky landscape to negotiate. This time around though - if you take a little from the story of each artwork - you may be able to wander behind the scenes in these artist’s thoughts.
Centre for Contemporary Arts, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD
Title : carrie colin hiro
Title : carrie hiro
Title : colin carrie
Title : echoe and narcissus image
Title : hiro colin
Title : hiro