Skip to main content

Summerhall Art & Music Exhibitions

Summerhall, Edinburgh, until November 24th 2012
4 stars
The path-way from Johnny Cash to Bob Dylan is a tellingly symbolic one in the two most straightforward of seven big shows exploring the relationships between sound and vision in very different ways. The images of these two icons of popular music may be a short stroll from a dark room to the basement, but, captured at their creative peak, these two pop cultural giants mark out the co-dependent leap from blue-collar street-songs to the avant-garde. In 'A Hero of the True West, Jim Marshall's images captures the Man in Black in transit via thirty black and white shots of Cash in concert and with his family in the late 1960s. When Cash peers through the grille of a van en route to Folsom Prison, so stony-faced is he that it's as if he's in as cell of his own making.

If Cash appears on the run from his own demons, the image of him with Dylan is a kind of baton-passing. Because, as captured by celebrity snapper Barry Feinstein in 'Don't Follow Leaders – Bob Dylan in the 'Judas' Years, Dylan revelled in his people's poet status. Looking impossibly hip against a bombed-out back-drop of crumbling houses and snot-nosed street urchins in mid 1960s Liverpool, it clearly wasn't just Dylan's guitar that was electric.

The urban decay is more in keeping with 'Punk Politics Posters – 35 years of fighting racism through music', a crucial collection of 1970s Rock Against Racism posters and ephemera that captured the messy, cut n' paste energy of the time, as well as the complimentary flow between punk and reggae during a combative era when the police were considered enemies of the people.

Kommissar Hjuler is a police-man in Germany, who, along with his partner Mama Baer and porn star Violet Storm, might also be considered such. The walls of corrupted detritus, scarifying paintings and explicit collages that make up their 'Flux + (st/p) or (m/n)' show seems to mirror their live noize performances (one of which can be seen at Summerhall on November 10th), as the trio play with pornography in the way pre-punk provocateurs COUM Transmissions did before morphing into Throbbing Gristle.

All of whom owe much to sound poet Henri Chopin's Revue OU publication, which featured recordings of key avant-garde figures alongside extravagant and elaborate artworks. Collected here in OU OU OU, Revue OU makes for a bumper collection of artworks wrapped around each other in tantalisingly tactile fashion.

Lauren Sarah Hayes' 'Skin Music' is equally tantalising, engaging physically with the listener as music pours from the furniture you're sitting on in a way that recalls Kaffe Matthews' Sonic Bed project. Harry Whalley's split-screen video installation, 'A Little Harmonic Labyrinth', meanwhile, jump-cuts a sole violinist playing two different musical notations. Reconfigured at random by computer, as with all of the shows here, the possibilities are endless.

The List, November 2012

ends


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1
1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77)
3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77)
4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77)
5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77)
6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77)
7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77)
8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78)
9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78)
10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79) 
11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79)
12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79) 
13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79)
14. JOLT See Saw (6/79)
15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79)
16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79)
17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79)
18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79)
19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79)
20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79)
21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79)
22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79)
23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79)
24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80)
25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980)

1. THE REZILLOS I Can’t Stand My Baby (Sensible FAB 18/77) If it wasn’t for T…

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1
1. THE STONE ROSES  - Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3  - Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART  - Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS  - Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY - Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!  - Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS - I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS - In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES  - Everso 10. THE SEERS  - Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND - You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS - We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE  - Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS  - Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND - In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES - Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS  - Justice In Freedom (12" Version)

1. THE STONE ROSES Don’t Stop ( SilvertoneORE1989)
The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds like it. Vocalist Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire met in 1980 at Altrincham Grammar School. With bassist …