ECA alumni are invited to a special late-night tour of Talbot Rice Gallery with curators James Clegg, Stuart Fallon and Genevieve Warwick. Covering the contemporary installations of Rob Kennedy and Stephen Brandes and a tour of The Torrie Collection, it provides a diverse insight into art past and present.
Rob Kennedy’s acts of display aims to undo many aspects of the way our sensible environment is distributed, unsettling the convention of the ‘explanation’ to foster an empowering, uncertain and open series of encounters. Across an installation featuring a new video work, weekly performances, detritus, found objects, philosophical texts and a selection of contemporary and historical artworks – including work by Merlin James, Conor Kelly, Julian Kildear, Tony Maas and David Teniers the Younger – Kennedy establishes an environment in which objects and spaces continually traverse different perceptual frameworks. At times being art, at times serving a function and at times provoking certain types of contemplation, the objects establish a series of correspondences and trajectories that resist being reducible to a single purpose.
Stephen Brandes’ Parc du Souvenir follows research into the lives and legacies of two very different people: Patrick Geddes, a Scottish polymath who transformed the Old Town of Edinburgh and subsequently went on to be an eccentric but radical influence on the world of city planning during the early 20th century; and Gunther Grass, author of The Tin Drum, who as a youth witnessed the utter destruction of his home city Danzig during WW2. Developing into a broader meditation, not only on the inter-relationships between Scotland and mainland Europe, but on historical periods of ‘enlightenment’ and their subsequent periods of suspension, the exhibition explores architecture, monuments and artefacts that remain years later, often out of context and often out of shape.
Featuring Dutch landscape paintings of the ‘Golden Age’ and Italian Renaissance bronze sculptures in the tradition of Michelangelo, The Torrie Collection represents the University's founding art collection. Gifted in 1836, it speaks for 180 years of art collecting and celebrates a rich artistic heritage. On display in the Georgian interior of Talbot Rice Gallery, designed by the University architect William Henry Playfair, the exhibition is an opportunity to view these remarkable works in the historic interior for which they were destined.