Calum Sutherland

  • Patrick Staff

    Patrick Staff’s reimagining of Heinrich von Kleist’s 1810 play, The Prince of Homburg, was a compelling balance of nocturnal confusion and daylight insight. A carceral video installation incorporating sculpture and photography, it adopted the dualities of the original text––freedom/imprisonment, sleeping/waking, dream/reality––to map the limits of individual agency and autonomy in the current political moment.

    The two rooms of the exhibition––one light, one dark––laid out this dialectical commitment. The Appetite (all works 2019) consisted of a barbed security railing lining both rooms, with

  • picks May 01, 2019

    Michael Fullerton

    At the back of Koppe Astner’s new space south of the river, an electric current runs across a wall of compact discs. This current, in Michael Fullerton’s Chattanooga Nuclear Genocide (all works 2019), slowly and invisibly corrupts the data on the discs, rendering them unusable. Indeed, an abiding theme in “Tales from the Anglosphere” is that of loss—of friends and memory, both digital and human. Each work on view is accompanied by commentary in the press release, penned by the artist, which provides a disorienting mix of historical information and methodological explanation. The effect is to

  • Victoria Morton

    In comparison to Victoria Morton’s past exhibitions (her 2010 solo show at Inverleith House in Edinburgh, for example), the paintings in this presentation, “Treat Fever with Fever,” felt less schizophrenic, less overtly agitated by implicit figuration. They were also unaccompanied by the installation elements and photography often associated with Morton’s oeuvre. The works, all oil on canvas or linen and varying dramatically in scale, were sensitively installed so as to bring out the formal relations among them and command attention to detail. Each painting retains a strong sense of the hand or

  • picks January 31, 2019

    Bedwyr Williams

    Between living in rural Wales and representing his country at the Venice Biennale in 2013, Bedwyr Williams is well placed to feel the full force of the nightmare of art-world mores. This is evident in his shrewd suite of thirty-eight line drawings for “Adjunct Curator,” which satirize various art-world personas. In our modish times, I can only wish you luck in dealing with the grinning “curator with chummy youth leader vibe,” the glazed solemnity of the “boring artist with an interesting name,” the grimace of the tote-bag-toting “toddler faced art fanatic” or the bespectacled smugness of a “

  • picks October 02, 2018

    Merlin James

    There is just a painting in a room, the light, some mandarin air. The riverside vista in Merlin James’s painting Dredge, 2018, cannot be seen from A-M-G5, Andrew Mummery’s new space, but the gallery is only one block away from the site it depicts, on the north bank of the Clyde in central Glasgow; among other things, one can pick out the pyramids of the St. Enoch Centre and the tower of the Briggait. Dredge is the only work on show, and given its current physical proximity to the river scene itself, a dialectic is produced between subject and object. This foregrounds the departures from reality,

  • interviews April 24, 2018

    Katinka Bock

    Katinka Bock is a German, Paris-based artist whose debut exhibition in Scotland, “Radio Piombino,” is currently on view at the Common Guild in Glasgow through July 8, 2018. The show is presented as part of Glasgow International 2018, which runs until May 7, 2018. Here, she discusses her approach to materials and sites, as well as the effects of natural processes, such as the weather, on her works.

    THE INSIDE AND THE OUTSIDE, the dry and the wet, the hot and the cold, the visible and the invisible: these oppositional modes have dramatic effects in the world. However, I want to bring my work back

  • diary August 19, 2017

    Scottish Rites

    BETWEEN THE OPENING OF THE EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL AND THE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL, ALONG WITH THE EDINBURGH ART FESTIVAL KICKING UP DUST OF ITS OWN, traffic of both the foot and the vehicular variety converged spiritedly on the efforts of a wide range of art institutions. When the opening of the Art Festival came around on Thursday, July 27, many of the affiliated exhibitions had already been open for days or weeks. Two days prior to kickoff, between bursts of sunshine and rain, I made my way through the street performers and commercial hurrah of the city center to see Jac Leirner’s

  • picks April 24, 2017

    “The Sky Is Falling”

    The city––its development, the facts of its habitation, its destruction, and its potential to be reimagined––encapsulates many of the themes of the Anthropocene. The works in this exhibition touch on issues of industry, capital, ecology, the displacement of people, war, and racism in a metropolitan context. The sense of entropy or collapse implied by the exhibition’s apocalyptic title is an important link between the individual pieces here.

    Clara Ianni’s video Free Form, 2013, centers on two separate interviews from the late 1950s with Brasília’s planners, Oscar Niemeyer and Lúcio Costa, in which

  • picks December 26, 2016

    Andrew Kerr

    Andrew Kerr’s exhibition is situated in the Modern Institute’s new Bricks Space, a single-room venue on Aird’s Lane which, unlike the gallery’s other white spaces, exists in a semi-dilapidated state, made up of a patchwork of painted walls, wooden flooring, exposed concrete, and tiling.

    The atmosphere of the show is sober and scholastic, with the room’s contents resembling the trappings of an art-school classroom or a studio past its prime. Each of Kerr’s five installations is composed of a variety of recycled materials and often hosts the artist’s paintings in muted hues. The works play on and

  • picks July 11, 2016

    “Hisachika Takahashi by Yuki Okumura”

    After reading a blog post from curator Daniel Baumann titled “Who Is Hisachika Takahashi?,” Yuki Okumura set out to find the answer. The multimedia artist, born 1978 in Aomori, Japan, now based between cities in Western Europe, researched and eventually met with Takahashi, born in 1940, a former technician to Lucio Fontana and Robert Rauschenberg. The meeting led to Okumura and Takahashi working together. Both artists’ practices often employ collaboration to develop ideas concerning identity and memory. This exhibition constantly approaches but never quite answers the question of Baumann’s post.

  • picks April 20, 2016

    Douglas Gordon and Jonathan Monk

    Douglas Gordon and Jonathan Monk’s exhibition “Paris Bar” is a collaborative installation comprising colored neon signs of text culled from the menu of the Berlin restaurant. The signs are hung above eye level around the white walls of the basement gallery, and different dishes and drinks flash on and off corresponding to the order and duration in which Gordon and Monk consumed them when they dined at the establishment sometime in 2015. Witnessing the total display, therefore, is no quick thing.

    The room is at times lit by a pink “Escargots de Bourgogne,” others by a green “Badoit,” and then a