Counterpoint: Talbot Rice Gallery plays host to a range of diverse installation works

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Counterpoint: Talbot Rice Gallery plays host to a range of diverse installation works
Michelle Hannah, Statue, 2014.

EDINBURGH.- Counterpoint, part of Generation 2014 and Edinburgh Art Festival, sees The University of Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice Gallery play host to a range of diverse installation works, including; two full size streetlights, a breakfast bar, and a custom-made bowling alley. The exhibition will lead audiences through a thought-provoking encounter with political and philosophical ideas, poetry and music, conceptual art and technological visions of the future.

Michelle Hannah and Shona Macnaughton each present work that engages with the institutional architecture of Talbot Rice Gallery and its Old College setting. In a new video, Statue, filmed in the University’s iconic Playfair Library, Hannah adopts the role of an enigmatic chanteuse. She hauntingly sings as a laser is refracted into dozens of tiny beams of light off her crystal-jewelled face. In The Plan of the Principal Story Macnaughton explores the architecture, historical events and institutional labour around the University to create a multi-media installation featuring surveillance videos and performance elements.

In a political gesture Ellie Harrison’s project After The Revolution, Who Will Clean Up The Mess? is a direct response to the upcoming vote on Scottish independence. Confetti cannons installed in the Georgian Gallery are primed and ready for detonation in the event of a YES vote. An all- night webcast will capture the moment or conversely, document the anti-climax of the cannons remaining dormant. The Georgian Gallery also houses a series of large abstract paintings by Keith Farquhar. Appropriating American artist Christopher Wool’s spray-paint gestures, Farquhar mimics the work using contemporary print technology and large corrugated metal sheets. He also presents More Dream Material, two public streetlights, illuminated and laid on their side along the length of the neoclassical gallery, creating an audacious presence in the historic room.

In the centre of the main gallery, Andrew Miller has constructed a ‘breakfast bar’ structure, which will act as a meeting point and a site for dialogue and creative exchange. Shown alongside images drawn from his archive of photographs, the works highlight the potential for improvised and accidental associations of material and structure. Craig Mulholland presents POTEMKIN FUNKTION, a complex and immersive installation including electronic sound, a mesmerising voice over and a custom-made bowling alley. Ross Birrell’s work adds another political dimension to Counterpoint, also referencing the vote on September 18. On this date Birrell will throw a metal cast of Werner Heisenberg’s equation for the ‘uncertainty relation of waves’ into the Firth of Clyde. Part of an ongoing series entitled Envoy, the work is structured around the gestures of gifting, throwing and reading shown as photographs, videos and wall texts. And in the upper gallery, Alec Finlay’s Global Oracle is a poetic multimedia work that compares satellite communication, GPS navigation and the innate spatial memory of bees.

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