1 August 2014
I’m Ellie Harrison, I’m an artist based in Glasgow and I’ve been invited to take part in this Counterpoint exhibition. For this show, I’ve made a new piece called After the Revolution, Who Will Clean Up the Mess?
And the idea came to me when I was looking at the Exhibition Dates, which runs from the 1st August to the 18th October, but overlaps the Referendum on Independence. So I really wanted to make a piece of artwork that could have the potential to be radically different before and after that event.
The idea of this piece, I’ve got behind me (you can probably see) there’s four huge confetti cannons which have been hired in from a Stage Effects company, and they’re linked up a to a detonation unit and they’re ready to go off – shoot confetti all throughout this gallery – only on the event of ‘yes’ vote.
So the idea is that visitors will come in and they’ll see all this equipment in the run-up to the Referendum, and they’ll kinda be able to imagine what might unfold if they’re detonated. And then, if there is a ‘yes’ vote, the atmosphere in here for the last thirty days of the exhibition will be completely different, because it will be completely scattered with confetti.
If there’s a ‘no’ vote, the confetti cannons… nothing will happen, basically, they’ll just remain dormant for the whole duration of the exhibition.
And I guess, what I want to do with this piece is to sort of simulate the atmosphere of anticipation, and anxiety about uncertainty, running up to the event. But then, obviously, if it’s a ‘no’ vote, this huge sense of anti-climax – that all of this equipment has been got together [laughs]. You know, there’s been all this hoo-hah, and nothing happened, which could very well be the case, if there is a ‘no’ vote.
So I want people to be able to witness the detonation of the cannons if they’re interested. Because obviously the whole exhibition is building up to this one moment when something could happen. So we’re organising a Referendum Results Party, which will happen in this gallery. It will be quite a small gathering of people, but it will run all night. So we’ll be watching the results and building up to the moment when they announce it, which I imagine at the moment will be kinda ‘early hours’, maybe 6 or 8 o’clock in the morning. And then if it’s a ‘yes’ vote, we’ll detonate it. And we’re gonna be webcasting that through the night as well. So even if you can’t make it to the gallery, we’ll have a live link out, which you can get on the website, which is just: ellieharrison.com/aftertherevolution and you can tune in and see what happens.