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Seized by the Left Hand

Dundee Contemporary Arts until March 22
Three stars

Evolution, not revolution is the drive behind this Ursula K. Le Guin inspired group show, in which twelve artists take the nod from the sci-fi pioneer’s 1969 novel, The Left Hand of Darkness, set on a gender-fluid populated planet. This is clear from Tuesday Smillie’s series of painted reproductions of the covers of Le Guin’s novel across assorted editions, addressing shifts in attitudes towards the book across the decades as she goes.
 
Changes in the landscape are most obviously apparent in the D’Arcy Thomson Zoology Museum’s collection of marine life specimens of creatures whose biology contradicts prevailing orthodoxies of gender. They’re there too in the ever-morphing state of the DCA building itself, in which the 2001-briliant white of Gallery 1 gives way to the pulsing utopian warmth of Flora Moscovici’s wall-scape, Crossing the Kargav (2019) in Gallery 2. 
 
Film-maker Sophia Al-Maria and performer Victoria Sin present a TED talk in space in BCE (2018), while the rail of customised blue jeans hung up in Emma Wolf-Haugh’s Domestic Optimism – Soft Furnishings (2019) tries on various styles for comfort. If Andrew Black’s video, Revenge Fantasy (2019,) rips up the rules of Scotland the Brand, the shifting sands of Isaac Julien’s three-minute film, Encore II (Radioactive) (2004) surfs the show’s over-riding speculation that, in a world of permanent transience, possibilities are infinite. 

The List, January 2020

ends

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