Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Notes on a Concept

"WHERE DO I END AND YOU BEGIN" was the title of the recent Edinburgh Art Festival in Scotland.  The title of the show, from work by Shilpa Gupta, India, was explored with the five commonwealths invited to co-curate the show:  Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and of course, the United Kingdom.
The "curation" started over a year ago in Edinburgh, when the Director of the EAF, friend, Sorcha Carey, invited this stellar group to thinktank with the words "common"and "wealth" coupled with the concept of  "being in common" in a truly global world.   The project comprised of recent works by over twenty artists.

My favorites pieces seen on my tour with Sorcha  on August 25th were from New Delhi's Masooma Syed (I am not from the North...) South Africa's Kay Hassan (My Father's Music Room) and Canadian, Rebecca Belmore (Fringe), oh, and the beautiful blue-eyed, kilted, and bejewelled, tammed and bearded stranger. 

Diverse still 'life', as per last week's lecture series, by Leslie Barham of Firnew Farm Artists Circle, on STILL LIFE - need not be on a flat surface.  The City Art Centre was alive with video, photography, textile; and on site at the Old Royal High School was an install called The Sovereign Forest, investigating mining resources and privatization in the eastern Indian state of Odisha.
My Father's Music Room depicted a reconstruction/still life of how music has always been a central componenet with blacks and working class communities, even though in South African's case, through very supressive regimes.

Massoma's 3d multi media delighted with five structures from discarded cardboard Scotch drink packaging and other collage from her private collection, depicted 'spirit' both the intoxicating scotch drink (made in Scotland and India), and also the notion of spirit of the divine.  It was a collision of histories, cities, and racism all arriving on the same stage.

FRINGE from Belmore is a large reclining nude woman with a deep scar down her back - appears at first as blood - but was really a wound sutured with beadwork - suggestive of a process of healing, and referencing the Anishinaabe tradition.

The AEF runs the month of August in Edinburgh Scotland, in conjunction with the FRINGE Festival throughout thirty locations, including the Old Royal High School to small galleries across the city and most public museums.  Join us next year with Jetset Wisdom. 
 www.edinburghartfestival.org. More on the FRINGE later, 

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