The Edinburgh Art Festival has announced its 2014 city-wide commissions programme and further details of off-site projects. Bringing together a diverse line-up of some of the best UK and international contemporary artists, introducing many of them to a UK audience for the first time, EAF is pleased to present a varied programme of exhibitions, one-off performances and special events this summer at some of Edinburgh’s most unique and historic venues. EAF runs from 31 July – 31 August 2014.
A series of new commissions situated in unique locations throughout the city, including the gothic kirk Trinity Apse and an abandoned Police Box; Off-site projects by Amar Kanwar and Shilpa Gupta as part of Where do I end and you begin in the debating chamber at Edinburgh’s Old Royal High School, which opens to the public for the first time since being redeveloped as the site for a Scottish Assembly in anticipation of the required majority in the 1979 referendum;
Compelling new work by the best emerging contemporary Scottish artists in a series of co- commissions at the University of Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice Gallery A significant outdoor presentation by Nalini Malani as part of 14-18 NOW’s ‘LIGHTS OUT’, a major cultural programme taking place across the UK to mark the 100th anniversary of WW1; and
A new three year partnership with The Skinny: a special EAF exhibition of work by recent art school graduates as part of The Skinny Showcase, a platform for early career artists in partnership with Scotland’s leading monthly contemporary culture magazine.
2014 represents an extraordinary convergence of moments, a year when Scotland remembers the past and imagines the future, in a series of anniversaries which will resonate locally, nationally and globally alongside a referendum to determine Scotland’s future. This close connection between past memory and future possibility permeates this year’s festival programme and will be considered by the best local, UK and international artists for EAF’s annual commissions, including acclaimed Scottish artists Craig Coulthard and Jacqueline Donachie.
Building on EAF’s recent history of re-imagining and re-interpreting overlooked or forgotten spaces across Edinburgh, 2014 will feature spaces never before opened to the public, from the Old Royal High School on Regent Road to a disused Police Box on Easter Road. It will also include a programme of co-commissions realised with the University of Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice Gallery, as part of EAF’s commitment to supporting the next generation of emerging artists.
Two off-site projects in the city by leading Indian artists Amar Kanwar and Shilpa Gupta punctuate the programme as part of Where do I end and you begin, EAF’s first festival led exhibition, which will feature more than twenty artists selected by curators from across the Commonwealth. Complementing an
exhibition that considers at its heart how we might live together in the future, and engaged with the ideal of the ‘Common-wealth’, these two artworks will be housed poignantly in the Old Royal High School, including work installed within the debating chamber built for the 1979 referendum to accommodate a Scottish Assembly that never was.
EAF will also participate in two UK-wide initiatives this year, commissioning projects by Yann Seznec as part of PRS for Music Foundation’s ‘New Music Biennial’.EAF is also pleased to announce its collaboration with The Skinny this summer in showcasing work by the best recent graduates from Scotland’s art schools.
Sorcha Carey, Director, Edinburgh Art Festival said: “Our commissions programme has always revealed new perspectives in the city. This year many of our artists draw on the past to reflect on future possibilities, while a series of new works co- commissioned with Talbot Rice Gallery puts a spotlight on the imaginations of the future.”
Scotland’s annual festival offering with the impressive programme giving both new and established artists a platform to express their work. Supported by EventScotland and Homecoming Scotland 2014, Situated in Trinity Apse, a gothic kirk located just off Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile, Craig Coulthard will present a new video work The Drummer and the Drone exploring the evolution of military drone technology and the act of remembrance.
Acclaimed Scottish artist Jacqueline Donachie will unite her interests in navigation, performance and history through a publicly sited work that connects key sites and moments in the city (physical and political) in a series of lines drawn in chalk and converging on a central focal point. Both this work and Craig Coulthard’s form part of EAF’s contribution to GENERATION.
Housed in an old Police Box along Easter Road, Currents is a sound installation and series of performances by artist and musician Yann Seznec and is realised as part of PRS for Music Foundation’s ‘New Music Biennial’, part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme. Using instruments constructed entirely from discarded computer fans, Seznec’s new work is a physical and sonic experience, drawing on real-time weather data from around the world to move air around the visitor and inform the composition.
Where do I end and you begin will bring together five curators and twenty artists from across the Commonwealth, as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme and in the context of Homecoming Scotland 2014. Inviting international perspectives on the utopian project of the “Common-wealth” the exhibition reflects on the – at times uncomfortable – history of the Commonwealth whilst imagining how we might live together in the future, and introduces many artists to UK audiences for the first time.
Alongside work presented across four floors of the City Art Centre, the exhibition will include a major off-site presentation of Amar Kanwar’s acclaimed film installation The Sovereign Forest in the debating chamber of Edinburgh’s Old Royal High School and an outdoor presentation of Shilpa Gupta’s neon work Where do I end and you begin. The City of Edinburgh Council has granted access to the building, and Baillie Gifford Investment Managers are Project Sponsors. Originally built as a school, and redeveloped in advance of the 1979 devolution referendum to house Scotland’s anticipated devolved Assembly, the debating chamber remains strongly associated with Scotland’s recent political history, and in the year of a referendum on Scotland’s future, provides a resonant context for a series of artist projects which deal with ideas of identity, community and representation. This will be a unique opportunity for members of the public to visit the historic debating chamber for the first time.
This year, as the fine art community reflects on the past twenty-five years of contemporary art in Scotland through GENERATION, the festival programme includes a special focus on new emerging artists, in a series of new works co-commissioned with the University of Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice Gallery.
Shona Macnaughton will explore the architectural power of the University of Edinburgh’s buildings through film, performance and digital modelling, whilst Michelle Hannah’s new body of video and computer based 3D work, inspired by the founding constructs of Cabaret, will explore the ‘self-design’ of technology. Ellie Harrison will expand her interest in the role of the artist as commentator on current affairs, as well as agent for social change, by presenting After the Revolution, Who Will Clean Up the Mess? – a new artwork made of four streamer cannons, whose activation remains completely contingent on the result of the Scottish referendum.
As part of this project, EAF and Talbot Rice Gallery will also co-commission performances by Jeans & MacDonald, focusing on the twenty-five years since the creation of the World Wide Web and the generational time frame since its inception; an experiential and participatory event by Ortonandon – sisters Katie, Sophie and Anna Orton; and artist and musician Alexa Hare will combine video and live performance to explore themes of popular culture, fandom and meta-narrative.
As part of its commitment to supporting the best early-career artists, Edinburgh Art Festival is delighted to announce a new three-year collaboration with The Skinny. Since 2007, The Skinny Showcase has offered emerging artists a platform through various means including its partnership with the Royal Scottish Academy’s annual New Contemporaries exhibition. This year, in collaboration with Edinburgh
Art Festival, The Skinny will present the most promising graduates emerging from this year’s Scottish graduate degree shows in a special EAF exhibition at Creative Exchange, a new incubator and workspace for creative industries based in Leith, in the first show in a proposed three year partnership.
Founded in 2004, Edinburgh Art Festival is the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art, offering the chance to experience the best contemporary Scottish, UK and international artists in the context of exhibitions of some of the most important artists and movements of the 20th Century and historical periods. Attracting over 280,000 attendances in 2013, Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF) brings together the capital’s leading galleries, museums and artist-run spaces, alongside new public art commissions by established and emerging artists and an innovative programme of special events. Edinburgh Art Festival is a charitable organization supported by Creative Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.