24 August 2014
The List

Eclectic mixed-media works from eight contemporary artists.

Waiting plays a big part in the Talbot Rice’s compendium of eight relatively off-piste artists for their EAF show. Nowhere is this more evident than in Ellie Harrison’sAfter the Revolution, Who Will Clean Up the Mess?‘, an installation of four confetti cannons which may or may not be detonated on 18 September this year at a post-referendum party, depending on which way the vote goes. This is something Ross Birrell’s uncertainty-based works also point to in their references to Heisenberg and Mallarmé’s poem ‘A Throw of the Dice’.

If Harrison’s specially commissioned piece in search of an audience for a once-in-a-lifetime event isn’t enough motivation for the accompanying all-night party to go with a bang, one might turn to Michelle Hannah’s ongoing fantasy / wish-fulfilment fascination with retro-futuristic electronic torch ballads and the vogue for ice-cool dystopian iconography that defined the accompanying rise of the pop video. In ‘Statue’, Hannah looks to the Talbot Rice’s own surroundings to give her work the image of classicist gravitas.

Shona Macnaughton’s quest for narrative looks to Jean Genet’s play The Maids for a self-reflexive video performance flanked by boardroom tables that hint at brainstorms past. Craig Mulholland’s bowling alley-styled ‘Potemkin Funktion’ is similarly unpopulated, with the accompanying vocal samples giving off the air of an end-of-the-world amusement arcade. Alec Finlay’s wicker beehive constructions and the accompanying recording of him reading his ‘Global Oracle’ are a more rural retreat than Keith Farquhar’s aluminium and corrugated iron constructions below.

If Andrew Miller’s photographs look even more barren, his wooden construction ‘Refraction’ looks imported from an adventure playground, and is as good a place as any to sprawl over and use as a viewing post for forthcoming performances by Jeans & MacDonald, Alexa Hare and Ortonandon.

Whatever happens next, fireworks are inevitable.

Neil Cooper