Essays

6th October 2020

John Latham’s
Niddrie Woman
by Murdo Macdonald

John Latham's 'Niddrie Woman' : former shale bings, a massive piece of land art, a nature reserve, a monument to the achievements and sufferings of the people and the territory of the industrial revolution. A documentation by Murdo Macdonald.
27th September 2020

Come Into the Open:
Taking a Breather on the other side of Lockdown
by Neil Cooper

Artists have been adapting their practice to COVID-19 restrictions. In the open, is the Common Guild’s off-site response to the ongoing situation. Six artists have created new audio works designed to be listened to outdoors on headphones during government-sanctioned daily walks. Neil Cooper responds.
20th September 2020

THERE/NOT THERE
Batman, and other Unilateral Americans
by Mitch Miller

As conservative interests look set to capture its Supreme Court, cities convulse in class and racial conflict and the skies burn along the west coast, the American horizon has never looked darker. Should we Seek an American hero to save US? According to Tom King’s recent take on the the ever-popular Batman, probably best if we didn’t.
28th August 2020

PLAGUE
Albert Camus’ La Peste (1947)
by Owen Dudley Edwards

Clarity on the plague -on all plagues upon us! Owen Dudley Edwards reads the words of 'La Peste', looks at the history, and judges this as medical fiction, which might help our honesty with medical facts.
21st August 2020

A Monumental Servitude: reflections on the objects of the capitalist city
by Hussein Mitha

Abolish restaurants, statues, bars, mirrors and painting -the lot? The bourgeois desire to be served is inescapable in our urban contexts which consolidated in the 19th century city - the ideological hothouse of capitalist modernity. Hussein Mitha reflects on the glut of materials crowding the urban consumer.
14th August 2020

The Hollow Victory over Losers
by Johnny Rodger

Walter Benjamin's work is said to have much influence over contemporary thought. What has been the quality of that influence? And what could he possibly have to say about current winners and losers? Johnny Rodger looks at Benjamin in the context of some more recent work by Ahmed, Butler, Preciado and others.
12th August 2020

The Filmmaker and the Fervent
by David L.Robertson

There's been no shortage of big screen entertainment based on the Christian story - especially in the years immediately after 9/11 and the Anglo-American adventure in Iraq. What exactly is/was their appeal and what is the measure of their success? Are they just for the faithful and the fervent? David Robertson surveys the field.
7th August 2020

The map is not to blame
by Marlies Vermeulen and Remy Kroese (Dear Hunter)

Dear Hunter are designers, map makers and ‘cartopologists’ who engage with the supposedly empty spaces of borderlands, ex industrial landscapes and wherever their blend of art, architecture and anthropology is most needed. Reaching into both past and future, their distinctive practice shows how the map is never more powerful or effective than when treated as a verb.
24th July 2020

Agatha Christie’s ‘The Hollow’
by Owen Dudley Edwards

Agatha Christie wrote The Hollow at the height of her powers, writes Owen Dudley Edwards. Some rich digging through this novel and across all her writing reveals a Christie continually working through the disappointment, heartbreak and suffering of her personal life via the cute and beguiling morals of the whodunnit.