Skip to main content

Christine Borland and Brody Condon – Circles of Focus

CCA, Glasgow, April 4th-May 17th

Donating body parts after death has long been a staple of the scientific world. Yet, despite occasional conceptual appropriations of blood and guts, art hasn't attracted a similarly civic-minded set of card-carrying citizens. Christine Borland and Brody Condon's 'Circles of Focus' project may go some way to change that, as the pair show off the fruits of their long-term researches in the shape of pit-fired ceramic sculptures, performance documentation and legal paperwork which will also function as a proposal to potential body donors who the artists have worked with over the past two years.

“The work with clay began after spending time with a local experimental archaeologist in Orkney focused on the reconstruction of Neolithic pots, and later with similar jar coffin experts in Korea,” explains Condon, whose previous collaboration with Borland, 'Daughters of Decayed Tradesmen', was seen at the 2013 Edinburgh Art Festival. “We were intrigued that, over many thousands of years, similar clay shapes and forms evolved across the globe. The contemporary recreation process of these vessels, based on excavated fragments, combined with current digital construction methods, has determined the development of our sculptures.”

This weekend ahead of the CCA opening, Borland and Condon will host an open firing at Cove Park, while during the exhibition itself, informal 'rehearsals' will document the abstract traces transferred from the sculptures to the skin of carefully positioned surrogate living bodies. This will see Borland and Condon make an aesthetic proposal for the physical remains of the donors.

“We immediately noticed, and were intrigued by, the unexpected indentations on the surface of the donor bodies,” says Borland, “these geometric shapes were in sharp contrast to the most organic of materials, the human body. The shapes had been created by the hypostatic process that occurs when blood stops flowing and moves to the lowest gravitational point, leaving an indelible impression of whatever surface the body was resting on at the time.”
The List, March 2015



Popular posts from this blog

The Honourable K.W. Harman: Ltd Ink Corporation

31 Bath Road, Leith Docks, March 17th-20th

In a monumental shipping container down by Leith Docks, a Sex Pistols tribute band is playing Anarchy in the U.K.. on a stage set up in the middle of the room. Either side, various constructions have been built in such a way so viewers can window shop as they promenade from one end of the room to the next, with the holy grail of a bar at either end.

Inbetween, there’s a confession booth and a mock-up of a private detective’s office with assorted documentation of real-life surveillance pinned to the walls. Two people seem to be having a conversation in public as if they're on a chat show. An assault course of smashed windows are perched on the floor like collateral damage of post-chucking out time target practice. A display of distinctively lettered signs originally created by a homeless man in search of a bed for the night are clumped together on placards that seem to be marking out territory or else finding comfort in being together. Opp…

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…


Tramway, Glasgow until July 2nd
Four stars

In the dead of night, the audience are split in two and led under-cover into lamp-lit tented structures. Inside, what look like peasant women on the run lead us down a ramp and into a large circular pod. It feels part cathedral, part space-ship, and to come blinking into the light of such a fantastical structure after stumbling in the dark disorientates and overwhelms. Sat around the pod as if awaiting prayers to begin, we watch as performers Nerea Bello and Judith Williams incant mournfully on either side of the room. Their keening chorales embark on a voyage of their own, twisting around each other by way of the international language of singing. As if in sympathy, the walls wail and whisper, before starting to move as those on either side of the pod are left stranded, a gulf between them.

This international co-commission between Glasgow Life and the Merchant City Festival, Sydney Harbour Foreshaw Authority in Australia and Urbane Kienste …