Skip to main content

What We Have Done, What We Are About To Do


CCA, Glasgow until September 15 2012

Anyone who ever visited the wonderland that was the Third Eye Centre will know that, pre-Transmission/Tramway/Arches/Kinning Park Complex/Summerhall, this holistic, slightly ramshackle Sauchiehall Street hub was pretty much the only avant-fun in town. Before it morphed into
the CCA, the Third Eye's multi-purpose art-space, studio theatre, vegetarian restaurant and the best bookshop on the planet was a boho nirvana for seekers of artistic enlightenment.

Much of the Third Eye's early spirit was down to the enabling energies of the late Tom McGrath, the Rutherglen-born playwright, poet, pianist, polymath, former editor of counter-cultural bibles Peace News and International Times, and the Third Eye's first director between 1974 and 1977. This first public sighting of an ongoing excavation of the Third Eye archive as part of the Glasgow School of Art Arts and Humanities Research Council research project on Glasgow's hidden cultural history since the 1970s in partnership with the CCA is culled from McGrath's early dabblings with a video camera.

More than a hundred unedited tapes reveal the Third Eye as a vital cell of counter-cultural activity, with appearances from poets Allen Ginsberg and Adrian Mitchell, sound poet Bob Cobbing, jazz improvisers Keith Tippett and Derek Bailey, artist Michael Craig-Martin and a host of others. At a time when high-quality mobile phone footage can be filmed and uploaded online within minutes, it's a crucial glimpse at how things were before the 1980s centres of excellence approach to arts venues took hold. With the CCA itself hosting latter-day purveyors of social and artistic self-determination, it's also a major first step in reclaiming its radical roots.

The List, September 2012

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…

Rob Drummond – The Mack

Rob Drummond was at home in England when he looked at the news feed on his phone, and saw a post about the fire at Glasgow School of Art. It was June 2018, and the writer and performer behind such hits as Grain in the Blood, Bullet Catch and Our Fathers initially presumed the post was to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2014 blaze in GSA’s Mackintosh Building, which was undergoing a major restoration after much of it was destroyed.
As it turned out, the news was far worse, as reports of a second fire were beamed across the world. As someone who had taken Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s iconic construction for granted while living in Glasgow, Drummond was as stunned as anyone else with even a passing relationship with the Mack.
While emotions continue to run high in response to the disaster, Drummond channelled his thoughts on all this into what he does best. The result is The Mack, a new play that forms part of Oran Mor’s A Play, A Pie and a Pint lunchtime theatre season in Glasgow prior …