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Futureproof 2017

Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow until February 4th 2018
Four stars

Now in its ninth year, Futureproof's showcase of recent graduate photographers from seven Scottish art schools and universities returns to its spiritual home at Street Level, with nineteen artists embracing photo essays, abstraction and constructed narratives. It is Karlyn Marshall's Willies, Beuys and Me that grabs you first. Tucked in a corner, this depiction of a woman impersonating iconic artist Joseph Beuys says much about gender stereotyping, and recalls Manfred Karge's play, Man to Man, in which a German woman took on her dead husband's identity.

The personal and the political converge throughout. Ben Soedera's Foreign Sands contrasts natural resources and the constructed world. Gareth and Gavin Bragdon's The Bragdon Brothers moves onto the carnivalesque streets of Edinburgh. Kieran Delaney's Moments also looks at the apparently ordinary. Matthew Buick goes further afield, as tourists gaze out from classical monoliths. Yvette Bathgate's Speculative Excavations collages imagined future decay, and Sam Holland's Collective takes multiple variations of one image to give a blurred photo booth effect.

Leanne Glass's untitled piece looks through round windows of black space dappled with white fragments, and Clare Hutchison's Absent distorts the everyday. Ryan McCann's Communication Breakdown looks at hi-tech domestic alienation, and Katariina Yli-Malmi's Where Does My Body Sleep sets life's contrary rhythms next to each other. The empty beds and rumpled sheets of Angela Graham's Absence of Presence looks to the things left behind beyond bodies, and Linn Lundin's Goodnight Darling rewinds on the life of the artist's grand-mother.

Evonne Bain's In Arrangements is womb-like in its exploration of traces of places. Womb too is the subtitle of Katie Harris-Macleod's Machlag. Katherine Wood's All Flesh is Grass is a mini essay charting the artist's uneasy relationship with the farm where she was raised. Liadh Kelleher's For God and Ireland is a similarly personal visual poem. Anne Mie Bak Andersen's Plastic Planet pins images of consumerism side by side. If Joseph Beuys is looking down, whatever the gender, there is much to be proud of in this new generation's expansive outlook.

The List, December 2017

ends

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