The Glasgow Weekend: art, design and music from Glasgow (2013)

Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz and BQ, Berlin, 20th – 22nd September 2013

Curated by BQ and Sarah Lowndes

THE GLASGOW WEEKEND was a 3-day festival of innovative, diverse and highly acclaimed visual art, film, performance, music and design from Glasgow, presented at the Volksbühne Theatre and BQ, during Berlin Art Week 2013. The Glasgow Weekend featured new works from Turner Prize winning artists Douglas Gordon and Richard Wright,  and coincided with an exhibition of new works by internationally renowned artist David Shrigley at BQ. Other highlights included Franz Ferdinand, playing songs from their eagerly anticipated 4th album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action (20th September), Torsten Lauschmann‘s site-specific cinema performance At the Heart of Everything a Row of Holes (21st September) and nightly parties hosted by acclaimed avant-garde Glaswegian DJ duo OPTIMO. The programme also showcased music, performance and sculptural interventions from emergent Glasgow-based artists Jamie Bolland, Romany Dear, Raydale Dower, Ashanti Harris and Julia Scott. Newly commissioned publications by Prawn’s Pee (Ben Ashton, Rob Churm, Oliver Pitt and Rebecca Wilcox) and The Burning Sand and merchandise co-designed by Richard Wright and April Crichton will form part of a pop-up presentation in the Volksbühne by Glasgow gallery and bookstore Good Press. In BQ’s showroom (apartment upstairs from the gallery) and the Pavilion adjacent to the Volksbühne, there was a trio of exhibitions entitled VALISE (18th -22nd September), curated by Glaswegian galleries David Dale Gallery, The Duchy and Sarah Lowndes.

Friday 20th September

Raydale Dower, Beethoven’s 5th (X8), performed at The Glasgow Weekend (2013)
Raydale Dower, Beethoven’s 5th (X8), performed at The Glasgow Weekend (2013)

Raydale Dower opened the weekend with a performance in the Volksbühne Theatre’s Stern Foyer (Foyer of the Stars), recreating a written account of a 1920 Stefan Wolpe Dada performance using 8 copies of Beethoven 5th on 8 turntables at various speeds.

The action then moved to the Roter Salon (Red Salon) for the launch of Volume 2 of bi-annual art magazine The Burning Sand (edited by Sarah Lowndes, designed by Sophie Dyer & Maeve Redmond) and limited edition publication by Prawn’s Pee (Ben Ashton / Rob Churm / Oliver Pitt / Rebecca Wilcox).

The launch event featured a musical performance by Torsten Lauschmann and Richard Wright.  Lauschmann, whose musical alterego is Slender Whiteman and Wright, who plays guitar in Glasgow alt-pop band Correcto, presented a new musical collaboration with player piano and electric guitar.

Richard Wright performing at The Glasgow Weekend (2013)
Richard Wright performing at The Glasgow Weekend (2013)

A second musical performance followed, by Jamie Bolland and Raydale Dower.  Bolland and Dower, from anarchic Glasgow band Tut Vu Vu, presented new Musique Concrète compositions including a revisiting of the work of Erik Satie.

Jamie Bolland performing at The Glasgow Weekend (2013)
Jamie Bolland performing at The Glasgow Weekend (2013)

Warm up sounds from avant-garde Glaswegian DJ duo Optimo (Keith McIvor and Jonnie Wilkes, aka JD Twitch and JG Wilkes) in the Stern Foyer presaged the arrival on the main stage of Franz Ferdinand, playing songs from their back catalogue and eagerly anticipated and critically acclaimed 4th album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action (2013)

Franz Ferdinand on stage at The Glasgow Weekend (2013)
Franz Ferdinand on stage at The Glasgow Weekend (2013)

The evening concluded with a Franz Ferdinand Afterparty hosted by Optimo in the Roter Salon.

The Glasgow Weekend co-curators Joern Boetnagel (BQ) and Sarah Lowndes at the FF Optimo Afterparty
The Glasgow Weekend co-curators Joern Boetnagel (BQ) and Sarah Lowndes at the FF Optimo After party

Saturday 21st September

The evening began with a film installation the Volksbühne’s Third Floor Theatre by Douglas Gordon, Silence, Exile, Deceit (2013).  In this ‘industrial pantomime’ shot on location in Essen, using blinding light and the deepest darkness, sounds and visual impressions, Gordon poses the question of “who has a say”—artist, performer, or spectator.

Douglas Gordon at The Glasgow Weekend (2013)
Douglas Gordon at The Glasgow Weekend (2013)

The action then moved to the Stern Foyer where Ashanti Harris presented a solo dance performance, a new dance work exploring cultural appropriation and representation, combining elements of traditional dances performed in Barbados and by Amerindians in Guyana with longsword dancing practiced in Yorkshire, England.

Ashanti Harris performing at The Glasgow Weekend (2013)
Ashanti Harris performing at The Glasgow Weekend (2013)

This performance was followed by a live dance performance by Romany Dear, You I Move, You Move (2013), exploring the communicative power of the body.  The piece was choreographed by Romany Dear and performed by Romany Dear, Ashanti Harris and Julia Scott, the three co-founders of Glasgow Open Dance School (GODS).

Ashanti Harris, Julia Scott and Romany Dear perform at The Glasgow Weekend (2013)
Ashanti Harris, Julia Scott and Romany Dear perform at The Glasgow Weekend (2013)

 

The programme of live events continued with a Film installation in the theatre’s main auditorium by Torsten Lauschmann, At the Heart of Everything a Row of Holes (2011 (2013 revision)).  This dazzling site-specific cinematic performance responded to the specific architecture of the Volksbuehne’s art deco theatre, showcasing Lauschmann’s interest in the earliest forms of magical entertainment and the latest technical innovations.

Torsten Lauschmann in rehearsal for At the Heart of Everything a Row of Holes (2013 Revision).
Torsten Lauschmann in rehearsal for At the Heart of Everything a Row of Holes (2013 Revision).

The evening concluded with a party in the Stern Foyer hosted by Optimo (Keith McIvor and Jonnie Wilkes): an excursion into territories far beyond the accepted boundaries of club music.

Optimo Espacio neon sign
From Jamaica Street to Weydingerstrasse: Optimo Espacio neon sign installed for The Glasgow Weekend

 Elsewhere in the building:

New site-specific wall drawings by Richard Wright, Torsten Lauschmann’s Digital Clock (Growing Zeroes), Jonnie Wilkes’ neon Optimo and Espacio signs and Chandeliers by Raydale Dower were installed in the theatre building for The Glasgow Weekend. Open from 6pm on both evenings was a pop up shop in Stern Foyer run by Good Press, selling publications and The Glasgow Weekend merchandise designed by April Crichton and Richard Wright.

Good Press pop up shop in the Stern Foyer, The Glasgow Weekend
Good Press pop up shop in the Stern Foyer, The Glasgow Weekend

Notes:

All photographs of The Glasgow Weekend by Steffen Jagenburg, with the exception of the photograph of Romany Dear’s performance, taken by Sarah Lowndes.

The Glasgow Weekend was sponsored by Creative Scotland, British Council and BQ

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