Essays

16th July 2020

Metaphor as Parasite:
on ecologies of love, language and disease
by Daisy Lafarge

Too complex to be just romance, too full of personal feeling to be only philosophy, Daisy Lafarge’s Metaphor is a peerlessly accomplished take on love in literary and biological history, gripped with a social scientist’s certainty and the passion of a votary. As an extract from a longer work-in-progress, Lovebug, due to be published in the near future, it was written prior to the global pandemic, so was not intended as a comment or an analysis on current events and all resonance therewith, happy or otherwise, is entirely fortuitous.
11th July 2020

The Power of Ten:
A New Turn(er) of Events
by Neil Cooper

For the second year in a row The Turner Prize takes a lurch towards acknowledgment of the collective. Is this democracy in action? Is it a definitive change? Should we rejoice? Or is the change dictated merely by temporary circumstances? Neil Cooper looks at the history and some contemporary realities.
9th July 2020

Imagination in the Contemporary Society of the Spectacle by Jacob Lund

We are currently witnessing some fundamental changes in the conditions and the status of images: More and more images are networked; cameras and screens (portable or fixed) are everywhere; image data is geotagged; databases can be navigated in real-time; the prevalence of the phenomena of operative images and "machine vision" detached from human control and sense-perception rapidly increases, etc.
7th June 2020

On Peoples’ Palaces
by Hailey Maxwell

Having quietly endured almost twenty years of managed decline, writes Hailey Maxwell, it is crucial that we consider the possibility that the Peoples’ Palace on Glasgow Green – a valuable civic asset and monument to Scottish history and working-class life may presently be at real risk of being neutralised, misappropriated and entirely co-opted into a neoliberal agenda. Spaces and places which were once public are being repurposed and reimagined not for the benefit of the citizen but for the property developer, the multi-national corporation and the tourist.
31st May 2020

A Song From Under the Floorboards:
Susan Phillipsz’ Muffled Drums
by Neil Cooper

A new work commissioned from artist Susan Phillipsz was set to open at The Woodland's historic Hamilton Mansion. As the pandemic made the presentation impossible, the artist remade the work as a series of files that can be downloaded for lockdown , Neil Cooper describes the experience.
29th May 2020

Recovering Reality: Fact-Checking the Traveller… (tether your scapegoat here…)
by Candace G. Thomas

In part two of her extended essay on the prejudices and stigma still faced by contemporary Travellers, Candace Thomas challenges the callousness both casual - and causal - of media and policy makers in a way very recently, proven to rattle those in power: checking the facts and recovering reality.
25th May 2020

Judith Butler’s ‘The Force of Nonviolence’ by Johnny Rodger

How long will the patriarchy last? -How long have you got? The universal quality of Butler's work demands, ironically, that you find it, not as some pristine, independent, already perfected example, but as situated in the relational context of, and with all the potential of, your own local world.
17th May 2020

Distantly Related: ‘Fieldwork’
at 42 Carlton Place
by Jamie Limond

42 Carlton Place has become known for its regular contributions to Glasgow International, its frequently historical-leaning painting shows implicitly questioning what it means to be ‘contemporary’ art. ‘Fieldwork’, the space’s GI 2020 presentation, has been rendered inaccessible due to recent events, but remains up and running remotely. Jamie Limond responds.
15th May 2020

Objective Events: Ian Hamilton Finlay, the Arts Councils, and the Battle as art and work.
by Greg Thomas

Artist and poet Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925-2006) was a man of many contradictions: a writer of words and a conceiver of objects, a collaborator and a fighter. Acutely conscious of the presence of history, he was witty and urbane, yet lived in rural isolation, making a barren Scots hillside into a garden and invoking his revolutionary heroes there. Greg Thomas examines his performative relations with the functionaries of the art world, and assesses the ethical worth and creative achievements Finlay worked into those bureaucratic processes apparently so devoid of artistic potential.