31 July 2014
The Times (p.16)
Confetti cannon that will explode on the night of the referendum if Scots vote for independence will form part of this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival, the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art.
Ellie Harrison’s installation, After the Revolution, Who Will Clean Up the Mess? includes a live event that will be broadcast on the internet on September 18 from Edinburgh University’s Talbot Rice Gallery. If Scots vote “no” the cannon will remain untouched, but if they vote “yes” they will be detonated in the Georgian Gallery.
The work has been commissioned by the Edinburgh Art Festival, which was launched yesterday, and is part of the gallery’s group show, Counterpoint.
Harrison, an English artist based in Glasgow, said she wanted to mirror the sense of anticipation in Scotland in the run-up to the referendum.
“Nothing might happen on the night,” she said. “It could all be a massive anti-climax, and I think the referendum would be if it’s a ‘no’ vote. It could be a massive missed opportunity, but it’s so significant and we don’t know what will happen afterwards either way.”
Other work in the festival, which includes more than 40 exhibitions at 30 venues across the city, acknowledge significant events of 2014, including the Commonwealth Games and the centenary of the First World War.
As part of a national project marking the outbreak of the war, a video installation, below, by Nalini Malani, an Indian artist, will be projected on to the outside of the National Gallery of Scotland on the evening of August 4. The work has been co-commissioned by the festival and 14-18 NOW Lights Out. People across the UK will be invited to join the commemorative work by turning off their lights from 10pm to 11pm on the night of the installation.
Sorcha Carey, director of the Edinburgh Art Festival, said that this year’s programme was “looking to the past while trying to imagine a new future for ourselves”.
Other festival exhibitions include a solo show by Jim Lambie at Fruitmarket Gallery, John Ruskin’s drawings and paintings at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and an exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, exploring the role of the poet laureate.