Open File is curatorial project by Jack Brindley and Tim Dixon. Working across live events, printed publications and an online archive, we aim to examine what it means for a work to be presented live in relationship to how it subsequently disperses across other media.
A big part of the project involves working with spaces around the UK, to date this has mainly been focussed in the south of England. We applied for a Go and See bursary to enable us to visit artists and spaces in Glasgow with a view to starting a dialogue that will hopefully enable future collaboration.
Arriving on Saturday we checked in to our guesthouse and made use of a few spare hours by taking a look at some of the exhibitions that were on as part of Glasgow International festival. Our first appointment was with Glasgow-based artist Torsten Lauschmann. Meeting Torsten allowed us chance to introduce our project, and for him to introduce us to his his work as well as offer some impressions on the art scene in Glasgow and make a few recommendations about places we should see. Particularly exciting for us, with our interest in publishing, was his recently published book which is augmented into animated pages with sound when scanned over an iPhone running a corresponding app. Static images of rocks cast rotating shadows and film titles are read aloud to produce a noir-ish narrative. Later that evening we enjoyed a DJ set from Jarvis Cocker before an audio/visual set from Jonnie Wilkes and Torsten utilising footage from a current project he is undertaking with the BBC Scotland archives.
Sunday gave a little more time to take in some of what the International Festival had to offer which included a definite highlight in the form of Bedwyr Williams’ video ‘Echt’ as well as great opportunities to get to see some of the artist-led spaces putting their best on show. We were able to get a sense of the city’s artist-led scene through an informal but informative chat with Patrick Jameson at Queen’s Park Railway Club before taking a train back into the city for our next appointment.
Claudia Comte’s exhibition at David Dale Gallery proved to be highlight from the visit. After we’d taken a look around the show, we met committee member Mark McQueen. We were excited to hear about recent and future developments that the gallery had been working on and impressed to see their professional, high-quality studio setup. Particularly exciting was a second space the gallery had recently acquired at the rear of building, currently playing host to video work by Comte, offering a counterpoint to the sculptural installation inside and showing a different facet of the artist’s practice. Meeting a few studio-holders as we walked around gave us chance to hear more the city’s arts activity and we were intrigued to hear about the space’s editions program as this is something we have been considering trying out ourselves.
The following morning saw us meeting Kitty Anderson of the Common Guild, an impressive project taking on large-scale commissions as well as running an ambitious exhibition program in their permanent space. Throughout our visit we were impressed by the warmth and generosity of people we met; Kitty was full of recommendations for other people we should try to meet and keen to point us in the direction of interesting publishing projects around the city. The afternoon saw us make a stop at Telfer Gallery. Although not on our original list we were intrigued to meet another group who had also just received a Go and See bursary and to get a chance to see a new exhibition by Yuri Pattison – an artist we worked with in 2012. Bart Manders introduced the project and explained their plans to visit Bristol’s Art Weekend with their bursary.
Tuesday was to be our final full day in the city. Our morning took us to Transmission gallery – one of the city’s longest-established artist-run spaces. It was exciting and inspiring to meet their current committee members Gordon, Nick, John and Ashanti, and to get a glimpse of their extensive archive before heading out to see a final few shows before a trek across the city to the Whisky Bond. Here we met Rob Morrison who showed us around the suite of creative workspaces before taking us on a tour of the Glue Factory – a cavernous warehouse set up for live music events and gallery spaces with a focus on becoming a community interest project.
Our final morning saw us a squeeze in an extra meeting with Ainslie Roddick at the CCA. We were highly impressed with their facilities as well as their openness to external usage of the building and their publishing imprint 2HB.
Overall the trip gave us a great insight into the wealth of artistic activity and the generosity and supportive nature of the people involved. We were able to let people know about we do, and also give out a few of our printed publications along the way. Now begins the hard work of digesting all this information, developing our next series of events, and hopefully securing funding to take our project up to Glasgow and bring some of Glasgow’s artistic flare to another city in UK.