Posterity’s not what it used to be
University collection poses the questions – what do we choose to keep and why?
extraordinary breadth of the university’s collections. How do we classify the “stuff” we value? And why?
It is a question of memory, when it comes down to it. A university collection, like any large institutional being, marking history, charting small points of interest from a certain moment in Time, giving a nod to what might be posterity.
We will keep this, acquire this. We will ceiling, topped by a noisy projector Talbot Rice have commissioned two collect and remember. Blobs, Zebras, casting the image of Isobel Turley’s Zane “poetic responses” to bring out the What You Will. (2013) in super-massive size, high on the connections between the works,
The more recent portion of the gallery wall. available from early March, although university’s collections is at the heart of A repeating two second, close-up loop you may push all that aside and find Between Poles and Tides, a new of an amur leopard, filmed at Edinburgh yourself making your own exhibition which highlights the Zoo, the animal has a hungry look in its classifications. university’s art acquisitions in the six eye, uncertain, perpetually ready to You could blithely coral Jonathan years since it merged with Edinburgh pounce. It is unnerving and deeply Owens and Luc Tuymans into a group College of Art. claustrophobic, and provides a supercalled “ghosts”, perhaps. Owen’s Eraser
The purchases, of some 50 artists in sized counter to the more intimate works Drawings, created by meticulously all, cover holes that, says Talbot Rice elsewhere. rubbing out the protagonist in any Assistant Curator Stuart Fallon, had A textural David Batchelor painting particular image or photograph, suggest emerged during the 1980s and 1990s hangs nearby, half-hidden by stepladders impermanence and the fallibility of when the university simply stopped and gallery assistants. Upstairs, Daisy memory in the images erased. collecting any contemporary art at all. To LaFarge represents the most recent This ephemerality is echoed in Luc lose one decade might seem like batch of graduates with Not for Gain Tuymans’ triptych of prints, The Arena misfortune. To lose two looks like (2016), a gently disturbing botanical (2016), depicting “the ghostly shadow of carelessness. video from last year’s ECA degree show a crowd gathering in an unidentified city
And so what of this reckoning of the which pitched a post-apocalyptic poetic square.” There is an uncertainty and last six years catch-up? Fallon had his voiceover with shakey footage from the ambiguity in both works. An unease, work cuttoo.out,whittling50artistsdownRoyalBotanics. to twelve, the resolution involving a Nearby, works from Ian Hamilton Down in the main hall, works by Katie certain “archiving” that might not seem Finlay, including Both the Garden Style Paterson and Ilana Halperin suggest a that dissimilar to Hess’s. And yet there is (1987), a guillotine intertwined with sense of geology, of Deep Time, from the much sense here. honeysuckle and the shadow of miniature body stones – which Halperin
We wander around the partiallyRousseau, range around a vitrine of calls “miniature planets” – of Physical installed exhibition amidst the debris of Jessica Harrison’s Painted Ladies, a Geology (new landmass) to Paterson’s installation – a tall scaffolding tower series of porcelain Doulton figures Timepieces (2014), a series of nine reaching the gallery’s not-inconsiderable altered and displaced with tattoos. clocks telling the time on all the planets