12 May - 18 May 2012
Talbot Rice collaborates annually with students from across the University, now including Edinburgh College of Art, to create exhibitions that test and develop ideas central to the study and practice of contemporary art and art theory. The process of researching, organising and delivering high standard public projects is crucial vocational training for those hoping to pursue a career in art and has been an important part of Talbot Rice’s programme for more than 3 years.
Masters of Contemporary Art students studying contemporary art theory and visual culture at the School of Art curated an exhibition around the theme of “eye-level”. It included work by Patrik Aarnivaara, Bill Balaskas, Pavel Büchler, Amy Hutton, Robert Luzar, Mitch Miller, Fintan Ryan, Marcus Sandeman and Kate Terry.
What is eye-level? What is the ‘correct’ eye-level? The term hints that there is an ideal vantage point from which to view art; the onlooker is expected to see what is intended to be seen, becoming a member of an unspecified community defined by the assumption of shared principles and values. Yet human physiology is not a level playing field – each human body is unique. This exhibition animated the conflict between encounters on an individual level, the possibility of a shared vision, and the impossibility of a universal, absolute way of seeing.
The student’s statement
“Transforming the Georgian Gallery into a theatre laboratory”, postgraduate students from the MSc in Modern and Contemporary Art: History, Curating and Criticism responded to a number of ideas prominent in the 1960s to create a dynamic programme of events, discussions and transient exhibits about ‘emptiness and nothingness’. Taking lead from groups like Fluxus, inspired in turn by artists like John Cage and Eastern philosophical ideas, ‘emptiness and nothingness’ were taken to be aspects of practices that pull back from the world of language and ideas to try to connect with primary experience.
Including sound and sculptural installation, individual haptic dances, performance, yoga sessions and academic talks, the ‘exhibition’ was “an environment creating a physical and emotional response to emptiness”. Unoccupied featured works, performances and talks by: Cristiano Agostino, Dr. Ian Astley, Sue Hawksley, Dave House, Rocio Jungenfeld and Dr. Dave Murray-Rust, Katherine Marsailli, Val McLean and Calvin Laing, Prof. Andrew Patrizio and David Williams.
Interested in spaces that people travel through on the way to somewhere else, students from the MFA Contemporary Art Practice created a novel exhibition based upon the gallery’s foyer space. The students created a model of this space, exhibited in the Round Room in the White Gallery, which was curated with miniature exhibitions, photographed and exhibited as prints in the downstairs foyer area.
This article was published on May 22, 2012