'Sometimes it feels like all the possible takes on the independence debate have already been 'well rehearsed'. Can the debate be refreshed and also gain some new subtlety and complexity? Richard Finlay assesses Gerry Hassan's new book-length contribution and is optimistic about its possible influence.
Born and raised in Glasgow, the only child of a Russian emigre, painter Yusef Szafki was much influenced by literature in his visual artwork. In an endlessly creative life, he published two literary works, including one on engaging with the Russian/Ukrainian writer Nikolai Gogol (60’ N (1996) ). Arguably the bold dreamlike, exaggerated style of Szafki’s work is influenced heavily by Gogol’s character, and his writing in such famous stories as ‘Diary of a Madman’ and ‘The Nose’. Johnny Rodger reviews this retrospective as the first exhibition to attempt a survey across his life’s work, and appreciates Szafki's experimentation and his ever-developing concerns with form, tone and texture.
An addition to our 'Lost Institutions' series, Neil Cooper sings the praise of a much missed music venue - Henry's Cellar Bar. But is it really lost -is that the way it works with the subculture -does it ever get stuck on one place? Is Utopia a material, or a performance, or ...?
'What did you do, dad, on the 19th of September 2022?' -The People of South Lanarkshire did not rest on that day - Burke and McLean (not Edmund and John, but Raymond and Richard) egged them on to the respectful end, while the Queen of England was laid to rest.
BBC4 will be showing Alan Bleasdale's Liverpool-set 1980's series Boys from the Blackstuff starting Wednesday July 6th. It's an important anniversary of the work -but why and how did Liverpool theatre, film and TV become an almost institutionalised lingua franca for British working class expression and struggle from the 1980s on? What is it about the culture of that city that made it such a working class touchstone? Neil Cooper looks into the Merseyside context of Bleasdale's writing and gives us a fully researched and detailed examination of the history and legacy of the great work done.
The first book published in our 'Lost Institutions' series, it focuses on the early years of the legendary Glasgow theatre in the words of the actors who made it happen, collected and introduced by Raymond Burke. It was part of a thrilling scene says Folosa Melville in review.
A new book 'Glasgow Cool of Art: 13 books of fire at the Mackintosh Library' takes a personal, artistic, intellectual and critical view of the two fires in Mackintosh's masterwork. It attempts to square the trauma that the fires caused by looking at the effect on a wide range of people -adults, children, citizens, academics, artists, architects, and as Murdo Macdonald notes in review, addresses the challenge of the international worth or otherwise of that great building.