Scotland and Venice Today: Collateral Event Opens At 55th Venice Biennale

A partnership between Creative Scotland, British Council Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland, opens today as a Collateral Event of the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. The exhibition, curated and organised by The Common Guild, Glasgow, features new works by Corin Sworn, Duncan Campbell and Hayley Tompkins, all of whom studied at The Glasgow School of Art.
Corin Sworn’s work for Scotland + Venice 2013 is presented across three rooms and stems from a recently re-discovered collection of slides taken by her father during his field work as a social anthropologist in the 1970s. The artist visited the Peruvian village where they were taken, using them to explore aspects of imaging, memory, place and oral history. Sworn’s work for Venice comprises an installation of floor tiles; a new film entitled ‘The Foxes’, including the original slides along with footage from the recent visit to Peru; and a group of photographic works that echo the colour separation of RGB (red, green, blue) techniques, layering past and present in the same image.
For Scotland + Venice 2013, Duncan Campbell has taken Chris Marker and Alain Resnais’ 1953 essay film ‘Les Statues meurent aussi’ (Statues also Die) as both source and artefact, to pursue a meditation on the life, death and the value of objects. Campbell’s new film, ‘It for Others’, presented in an adjacent room, combines filmed footage, animation and archive footage, in a social and historical examination of cultural imperialism and commodity. The film includes a performance made in collaboration with Michael Clark Company, which seeks to illustrate the basic principle of commodities and their exchange.
Hayley Tompkins’ new works for Scotland + Venice 2013 are almost entirely floor-based. Comprised of ready-made plastic trays, water bottles and boxed photographic prints, the images found online, ‘Digital Light Pool (Orange)’ and ‘Digital Light Pool (Stone)’ are full of painterly plays on colour, tone, texture and composition. Tompkins says, ‘I remind myself how immersed within life the activity of making something can be. It’s not an interruption within life, it comes from it, so any subject has to feel close, like-life. It’s about seeing, choosing, mixing, stirring, pouring, laying, selecting, turning, putting.’


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