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Mirrorball & mìorbhail

IMG_0258Three of this year’s Turner Prize shortlist studied at Glasgow School of Art, prompting Moira Jeffrey (http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/may/10/dont-call-glasgow-contemporary-art-scene-a-miracle) to knock down some ‘Weegie’ myth making around the city’s new arts supremacy, and to consider its antecedents.   These range from a ‘do it yourself’ culture (perhaps at odds with GSA’s predominance) to the outward looking and international artistic gaze of the city’s culture, to a surprising nod to dance hall culture.  What struck a chord was the hymn of praise for Glasgow’s central tenements.  The artists work in these high ceilinged vernaculars is what brings me to GI every year (http://glasgowinternational.org), and resonates way back to the 1990 European City of Culture, surely a game changer for Glasgow.   These informal ateliers energise a scene that triggers both investment and civic cultural pride (1).  Subsequent UK cities of culture have become more domesticated -Westminster mediated – and the creation of a 24 year legacy more improbable.  And how do we allow artists to colonise our city centres when the tenement is now the penthouse?

(1)  A few examples: http://www.trongate103.com; http://www.southblock.co.ukhttp://www.waspsstudios.org.uk/news-events/exciting-future-briggait-glasgow

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