Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Next Week/// Cooper Summer Residency 2015: THINGNESS?

Cooper Summer Residency 6–31 July 2015


For the 2015 edition of Cooper Summer Residency, we are delighted to host Glasgow-based artist Oliver Braid and Lyon-based artist Anouchka Oler, as well as Edinburgh-based philosopher, Joseph Fletcher. The artists’ practices investigate Object-Oriented Ontology and each will consider this philosophical phenomenon through the theme of thingness? during the residency. Cooper Summer Salon will be held once a week during the residency to amplify the making and thinking through conversations with the audience. 

Anouchka Oler, still from The Mother, the Monster and the Witch #1, (Voices will find their bodies), video, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.

Glasgow-based artist Oliver Braid’s practice explores definitions of objects, from their objecthood to their subsequent social application, through experimental collaborative and curatorial compositions. His artworks and curated projects are influenced by an aleatoric sensibility uncovered under popular 21st century thinking; observations of Objects wandering with Well-being. 

Oliver Braid, Communal Dolphin Snouting, Transmission, Glasgow, 2013. Credit: Andrew McCue  
Lyon-based artist Anouchka Oler’s work often starts with materiality; the thingness of functionless forms, the materiality of language. Oler’s role is frequently made visible in relation to these forms; within her time-based pieces she performs characters that set into narratives, sculptures and objects, be it her own material production, or ones that have entered a history of cultural production. 

                                         Anouchka Oler Image taken from the video IRMA, 2015, 23

Edinburgh based philosopher Joseph Fletcher will join the residency as a third voice to place reflexivity at the heart of the residency.

Throughout the residency, we will host weekly salons here at Cooper Gallery where you are invited to join us and engage with the artists as they explore new avenues for their practices. This is a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the artists' processes, areas of research and influences, in an informal setting. Cooper Summer Salons will take place at 12.30–1.30pm on Wednesdays throughout the residency (8, 15, 22, 29 July) and we encourage visitors to drop in at any time during the hour.

For more information about Cooper Summer Residency 2015, visit our website.

Monday, 29 June 2015

CURRENT|不合时宜: Contemporary Art From Scotland /// Phase One launches at Shanghai Himalayas Museum

CURRENT |不合时宜: Contemporary Art From Scotland is now underway at Shanghai Himalayas Museum, China with Phase One Exhibitions by Poster Club and Edgar Schmitz. The launch, which took place this weekend on Saturday 27th June, also saw the inaugural Shanghai Forum Series, part of the international touring forum Hubs and Fictions: On Current Art and Imported Nearness.

A poster for CURRENT being installed in Shanghai at the museum. 
Co-curator Sophia Hao at the launch of CURRENT at Shanghai Himalayas Museum
For their exhibition Wheat, Mud, Machine, the collaborative artist group Poster Club have made a new body of work in the form of posters, stickers and garments. The exhibition invites audience members to engage with the exhibition by creating their own mementos from the show, utilising the on-site printing station and stamps made by the artists to make new images of slogans. In keeping with the ethos of the exhibition poster, Poster Club created the CURRENT poster announcing Phase One of the programme, using their specially designed 'finger font'. 

Members of Poster Club leading a tour of their exhibition Wheat, Mud, Machine
Yesterday on Sunday 28 June, Poster Club members Anne-Marie Copestake, Nicolas Party, Ciara Phillips and Michael Stumpf travelled to Shanghai Himalayas Museum's residency venue at Zhujiajiao Town, a picturesque watertown in the southeast of Shanghai, to begin their week-long residency.

Poster Club's Michael Stumpf, Anne-Marie Copestake and Nicolas Party at Zhujiajiao Art Museum. 

Edgar Schmitz has reconfigured a body of works first conceived for Cooper Gallery in 2012 with a new set of sculptural works, sound pieces and architectural interventions. Recasting debris from arthouse cinema, future infrastructures and derelict resort architectures, Schmitz' works populate galleries with sprawling motifs of conjured-up remoteness and projected 'elsewheres'. Like his 2012 Cooper Gallery exhibitionSurplus Cameo Decor: Sindanao 2 will be interspersed with live cameo appearances from art world protagonists developed for this new context. This weekend award winning film-maker Zhao Da Yong performed a cameo appearance of himself as himself in the gallery as cinematic set.

Edgar Schmitz: Surplus Cameo Decor: Sindanao 2

Co-curated by Sophia Hao and Edgar Schmitz, the first of the Hubs and Fictions Shanghai Series took place on Saturday 27th June. The forum titled Settings – Nearness as A Utopian Proposition saw a diverse line-up of figures from the contemporary art world examine the promise of institutionality and discuss the limitations of contemporary art infrastructures.

Audience at Shanghai Series Forum #1 with speakers WHW, Simon Groom, Wang Nanming and Terry Smith
A slide from What, How and For Whom/ WHW's presentation during Shanghai Forum Series #1

The morning session featured the all-female curatorial collective What, When and for Whom/ WHW and Director of The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Simon Groom, both of whom referred to past examples of their own curatorial projects including Meeting Points 7 and GENERATION: 25 years of Contemporary Art In Scotland. Co-curator of CURRENT, Wang Nanming started the afternoon session with his presentation Metavant-garde, followed by Professor Terry Smith who joined the other speakers remotely to present Defining Contemporaneity; Reorienting Experimentality; Reimagining the World

CURRENT|不合时宜: Contemporary Art From Scotland is on until 9 August 2015.

For more information about CURRENT visit our website.


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

International Project/// This week marks the launch of CURRENT|不合时宜: Contemporary Art from Scotland at Shanghai Himalayas Museum

Installation is now underway for Cooper Gallery’s major international project CURRENT |不合: Contemporary Art from Scotland, a four-phase eighteen-month exhibition and forum programme taking place at Shanghai Himalayas Museum that will showcase for the first time in China the distinctiveness of contemporary art made in Scotland.

Shanghai Himalayas Museum, Shanghai

Opening on Saturday 27th June, Phase One of CURRENT will present exhibitions by Edgar Schmitz and Poster Club, and the first instalment of On Current Art And Imported Nearness, the latest incarnation of the Hubs and Fictions series that first took place at Cooper Gallery in 2012. Speakers participating in the inaugural Shanghai forum, Settings – Nearness as A Utopian Proposition, are distinguished figures in the art world, Simon GroomTerry SmithWang Nanming and What, How & for Whom/ WHW.

Installation photo: Edgar Schmitz, Suplus Cameo Decor: Sindanao 2

In addition to the CURRENT Phase One exhibitions, three residencies will take place during the exhibition period in June/July 2015 at Shanghai Himalayas Museum’s Residency Venue Zhujiajiao Art Museum located at Zhujiajiao town, a picturesque watertown in the southeast of Shanghai. 

Zhujiajiao town, Shanghai
From 28 June – 5 July, Poster Club members Ciara Phillips, Michael Stumpf, Nicolas Party and Anne-Marie Copestake will undertake a week-long residency to recalibrate the group’s ideals “to make posters and to collaborate”, throughout July Glasgow-based artist Anne-Marie Copestake will be in residence and developing her work with local musicians in Shanghai, then from 15 – 31 July, art writer and member of Cooper Gallery’s Group Critical Writing initiative, Frances Davis will be the Art Writer in Residence, reflecting and annotating upon CURRENT

View from inside Zhujiajiao Art Museum
The origins of CURRENT go back to 2012 when Shanghai-based curator and critic Wang Nanming was invited to participate in Edgar Schmitz' Cooper Gallery exhibition Surplus Cameo Decor as a 'cameo appearance' and to present a keynote talk at the exhibition's satellite strand Hubs and Fictions: A Touring Forum on Current Art and Imported Remoteness. Wang Nanming's enthusiasm for the exhibition and support of the curatorial vision of Cooper Gallery led him to invite Cooper Gallery to curate CURRENT for Shanghai Himalayas Museum where he holds the post of Head of Research.

Continue reading about the origins of CURRENT here.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Not so long ago... Kieran Milne shares his reflections on the recent 'Someone a long time ago, now.' Hugo Canoilas exhibition in Cooper Gallery.

Kieran Milne, Exhibitions DJCAD Gallery Assistant, Founding Member of Plastik Zine, and current DJCAD student, shares his writing about the last Cooper Gallery exhibition by Hugo Canoilas.

Someone a long time ago, now. is the first major solo show in Scotland by Portuguese artist Hugo Canoilas.

The show opens with a series of painted sheets hanging in the half lit entrance of Cooper Gallery Project Space. The sheets are lit by a series of overhead projectors shining a variety of images onto the textured and colourful surfaces, most notably a car crash.

Hanging in front of the projection of the car crash is a suspended object, a shoe hanging from a metal pipe, hanging from the ceiling and it is this object that sets the tone of the show. The shoe, in the context of the car crash is that universal signifier of the human element of an accident. An accident of birth and of existence and it is this existential nature, which pervades the rest of the show.

Hugo Canoilas, Someone a long time ago, now. Cooper Gallery, 2015. Photo: Ross Fraser McLean

Upstairs is a riotous offering of wall paintings. A comic book, I Like Your Art Much, hangs suspended above a small stool and on reading reveals itself to be a dialogue between the writer of the comic, Francisco Sousa Lobo, and the work of Canoilas. There is a playful familiarity in the comic, and the unreserved analysis of Canoilas' practice and themes acts as a visual reader for the work on display. The comic was produced especially for the show and references most of the works within its pages.

Francisco Sousa Lobo, I Like Your Art Much, 2015 

Finally in the main Cooper Gallery space there hang five large canvasses stapled to the wall, these are raw in their material nature and consist of extinct creatures spouting existential musings. They bring to mind 70s textbook illustrations and further the tension between the mortality of the viewer and the fate of these extinct creatures causing one to question our own time and place.

Hugo Canoilas, Someone a long time ago, now. Cooper Gallery, 2015. Photo: Ross Fraser McLean

Hugo Canoilas spoke with Art in Scotland TV ahead of the exhibition Preview. See him discuss his practice here:

Film Credits: Filming & Editing: Schedule D Productions. Photographer: Ross Fraser McLean. Make-up artist: Sandra Cormack. Courtesy of Cooper Gallery DJCAD

For more information about the exhibition please see the website:

Friday, 3 April 2015

New Cooper Gallery Publication 'I Like Your Art Much'/// From: Francisco Sousa Lobo To: Hugo Canoilas

Set out to be an exhibition within an exhibition, Francisco Sousa Lobo's comic book I Like Your Art Much acts as a reflexive voice and a point of departure from which Hugo Canoilas' entire exhibition Someone a long time ago, now. evolves, mirroring the artist’s critical stance on the social and political histories of the contemporary. 

Published on the occasion of Hugo Canoilas' exhibition Someone a long time ago, now., Cooper Gallery, March - April 2015. Someone a long time ago, now. is the first major solo exhibition of Portuguese artist Hugo Canoilas in Scotland and is a rich palette of visual and textual collisions between multiple collaged projections of paintings, photographs, drawings and writing, cast on each other and the architectural fabric of Cooper Gallery. Shown over two floors of the gallery the exhibition is a rare chance to engage in Canoilas’ complex visual mediation of images. For more information about the exhibition please see the website.

Someone a long time ago, now. Preview & Performance, Hugo Canoilas. Cooper Gallery, 2015.
Photo: Ross Fraser McLean

'I Like Your Art Much' is available to purchase from Cooper Gallery Publications website for £7.50 plus P&P. 

Launched in 2011, Cooper Gallery Publications produces Limited Edition Artist's Books and Multiples as part of the programme of new commissions, events and projects at Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. Cooper Gallery is a distinctive platform in Scotland for challenging and innovative practices and critical discourse in contemporary art, design and visual culture. Highlights include Tent, a hand bound, screen-printed Artist’sBook by Paul Noble, Artist Multiples by David Bellingham and a Zine exploring Lynda Morris' influential curatorial career.

Cooper Gallery Publications also develops Cooper Gallery’s innovative periodical &labels, ​with texts and articles by artists and theorists to extend and explore the exhibition programme. 
See more here.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Reading Lists/// 'Someone a long time ago, now.' artist Hugo Canoilas

To coincide with Someone a long time ago, now. at Cooper Gallery, March - April 2015, we asked exhibiting artist Hugo Canoilas to share with us ‘suggested reading’ of essays or publications that expand upon ideas related to his practice.

Reading Corner, Cooper Gallery, 2015. Photo: Ross Fraser McLean

Below is Hugo Canoilas' suggested reading...

Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet, translation by Richard Zenith, Penguin Classics, 2002.

Arthur Rimbaud, A Season in Hell, Penguin 60s Classics, Penguin, 1995.

Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano, Penguin Modern Classics, introduction by Michael Schmidt, Penguin 1995.

Jean-Paul Sartre, Between Existentialism and Marxism, Radical Thinkers, Verso 2008.

Albert Camus, The Outsider, Penguin Modern Classics, translation by Sandra Smith, Penguin 2013.

Søren Kierkegaard, In Vino Veritas, first published 1845, published in Portuguese by Antígona ,2005.

Richard Kempton, Provo: Amsterdam's Anarchist Revolt, published by AUTONOMEDIA, 2007.

de Waly Salomão , Me Segura Qu’Eu Vou Dar Um Troço, 1972.

More about the artist:

Hugo Canoilas is a Portuguese artist based in Vienna. Canoilas obtained his MA from Royal College of Art London in 2006, prior to this he studied at Caldas da Rainha in Portugal. Canoilas has received international recognition for his art work since 2005 and has been featured at major international spaces including the highly celebrated 30th Sao Paulo Biennial in 2012.

Solo presentations of his work include A painting is getting its kicks, 1M3, Lausanne (2010), Endless Killing, curated by Chus Martinez at Huarte Contemporary Art Center, Spain (2008) and 10 reasons to be a member curated by Tobi Maier at the Franfurter Kunstverein (2007). Canoilas has also exhibited in international group exhibitions at major venues, most recently When elephants come marching in curated by Mark Kremer at De Appel, Amsterdam and Performance Proletarians organised by Lili Renaud Dewar and Benjamin Valenza at Magasin-CNAC, Grenoble and prior to this, exhibitions at Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, and the Institute for Contemporary Art, London among others. Canoilas has received widespread recognition for his work in major publications such as Art Review magazine, Guardian, Observer, Frieze, Metropolis M and FlashArt. Canoilas has been awarded major public art commissions in Portugal and has participated in a number of international residencies, most recently at IASPIS in Stockholm in 2013. As part of his art practice Canoilas has contributed to a number of publications including a recently published intervention in Art Review Magazine. Canoilas is represented by Workplace Gallery (Gateshead/London), Galeria Quadrado Azul (Porto/Lisbon), Gallery Nosbaum Reding (Luxembourg) and Galeria Collicaligreggi (Catania).

For more information about Canoilas' work please see:

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Student Curatorial Exhibition/// 'Hot Air:' developed in response to 'Men Gather, in Speech...' Cooper Gallery, 2015

Exhibitions Student Curatorial Team members Kirsten Mae Wallace, Eilidh Wilson, Fiona Morag McKinnon, Alison Kay and Aylson Stewart share their reflections after collaborating on Hot Air: Cooper Gallery Project Space, 16-20 February, 2015. The exhibition was devised in response to Men Gather, in Speech... the concurrent film exhibition in Cooper Gallery, Jan-Feb, 2015.

Hot Air: Cooper Gallery Project Space, 2015

After putting a call out to the Cooper Gallery Student Curatorial Team our small group of 5 was formed. Within a couple of meetings we had formed our proposal.  We worked well as a team and our idea and concept was reached quickly.

The idea was to each view art from the 3 artists that would feature in the Men Gather, in Speech... exhibition and to form a sentence that encapsulates their work.  In order to make sure that we did not make the art that we wanted to purely because it appealed to us we then passed our sentence on to the next person.  We decided not to share our sentences with the whole team because we thought that might affect the work we created.  This was a great introduction to working collaboratively because, although we were working as part of a team, we each individually created our clips.

Projecting onto balloons abstracted and tied our work together into one cohesive unit.  Without the balloons the project would not have worked so well.  I think, for all of us, the balloons worked far better than we had ever imagined.  The projection was visible through the balloons and this added an extra dimension we had not expected.  The balloons, the layout and the viewers interaction with them was for me the strongest part of this project.

“A visual exploration of consequential effects caused by the loss of information or a misread signal, in the breakdown of communication between human individuals; where wires have been crossed.”
Sentence by Kirsten Wallace 4th Year Fine Art Student

“This exhibition was extremely challenging as it was a collection of firsts for me.  I am a direct entry student in to level 2 Fine Art.  I have never; worked collaboratively, in film, made a proposal or worked as part of the Student Curatorial Team before.
I lacked confidence and knowledge when it came to collecting and creating the film clips that I was going to show in the exhibition.  This was highlighted in the fact that I failed to remove the sound in my clips.  If I had more time and experience I would have added audio to my work.  I will experiment with this further in the future.  My confidence lay in the materials and installation of the exhibition. I was an active member in bringing us together as a team and keeping the momentum going. 
This project highlighted my strengths and weaknesses.  It gave me a deeper understanding of what goes into putting on an exhibition and what needs to be considered.  Our attention mainly lay in the production of the videos and the installation giving little time for marketing, budgeting and organizing all the other parts that make up an exhibition.  The dull stuff is equally as important as the fun stuff. 
We have talked about doing this exhibition again at a different venue.  With working knowledge of how the clips and balloons work together it would give us a chance to better optimize our marketing and organizing skills.  Watch this space; it might soon be filled with Hot Air.”
Ally Kay     

“Fighting the noise, to be heard, only fills the silence with more noise.”

Sentence by Ally Kay 2nd year Fine Art Student

I saw this opportunity as means to expand my studio practice and work within the Student Curatorial Team. I am studying my masters with a focus on art practice but come from a humanities background so being given quite a specific brief to work from made the whole process much easier.
The sentence I was given really resonated with me and I looked into the struggles of my own past as inspiration. I found the process of making the video difficult and very cathartic, although was ultimately happy with the outcome.
I do feel that due to other commitments towards installation of the exhibition meant that I was not fully involved in the process and did not help the dynamic in the team. It was a steep learning curve for all of us and having gone through the experience I would definitely look more at the logistics (marketing, budgets etc.) of everything and not get as absorbed by the actual making of the piece.
All in all I greatly enjoyed the experience and would gladly do it again soon, although with the new knowledge gained.”
Aylson Stewart

“Within unity of monologue, a picture of humanity”
Sentence by Aylson Stewart

“I found taking on this project as a new means of gathering everything I have learned over the years and putting it into practice by being part of an exhibition. As a 4th year student, I thought it was important to challenge myself and see how the ideas that I am exploring in my work for degree show can be taken into different contexts.
The sentence I was given set off a number of ideas, but after having went to the opening talk with Rose English, I felt inspired to recreate a work I had made in 2nd year and incorporate it into the video.
Putting on the exhibition for me, was a great means of realising timescale. Time for mistakes and technical issues should always be factored into self-set deadlines. Also, realising the importance of PR, for me creating the poster was a big learning curve for me, helping me to realise that was looks good on a screen does not necessarily look good on paper.  Overall we worked well as a group, despite several setbacks for everyone and given the timeframe what we put together was a successful.”
Eilidh Wilson

“Routine is the ultimate form of distraction. Blind to the words that may break it.”
Sentence by Eilidh Wilson

“Throughout the past four years studying Art, Philosophy and contemporary practices, my ideas and interests have grown and developed through both critical and practical practice. It is this which was the foundation of my enthusiasm to take part in this collaborative project. Responding to men Gather, In Speech…, we decided to work in the medium of digital film. I feel that this experience has aided my personal practice greatly, for I currently work in this medium.
This exhibition was a steep learning curve for me. It gave me an insight into collaborative exhibitions, and of the problems that arise during installing exhibitions. Our team worked very well together, and it was an incredibly rewarding experience. Despite a few technical set-backs, the installation was successful and received a very positive response at the opening night. Overall, I feel that this project has provided a stepping-stone for me to continue my engagement with curatorial practice.”
Fiona Morag McKinnon

“Interdisciplinary exploration concerning the moments of human subjectivity which normally pass unnoticed; a view from a different perspective.”
Sentence by Fiona Morag McKinnon

“I was interested in this opportunity to create art work as a group in response to Men Gather, in Speech… as the call out was centrally revolved around moving image, which is currently the medium I am working with in my own practice. I have been looking for the chance to work in a collaboration for a while so I saw this as a perfect opportunity and decided to meet with other members of the Student Curatorial Team who were beginning to put forward some very interesting ideas. We had a very productive first meeting and it was apparent we were all on the same wavelength.
I was happy with the sentence I received from Fiona shortly after this meeting and found it a very helpful starting point in creating film scenes - which I wanted to draw upon beauty in the every day. I enjoy video editing and piecing scenes together but always struggle with gathering the film footage, so having this brief to work on and respond to has proven to be a useful way of working. Having set deadlines and others relying upon my input also helps.

I enjoyed the process of installing the balloons and found that we worked particularly well together during this install. The balloons looked fantastic once the projection was up and running, and it hit various angles which made for some interesting photographic documentation. I learned which parts of my own film worked well and which scenes did not. Strong colours and patterns worked very well on the balloons, as did text and parts of the body. However bright, fast paced movements in my own film was difficult to make out. We could distinguish connections throughout our films which we had not intended and overall I thought the exhibition was visually, a great success.

We had a great turnout on our opening night and I had some interesting conversations with both peers on my course and students I hadn’t met before, who each had very positive feedback on our interactive projection. At the very beginning of this process, I thought a week would be a good length for this exhibition, but soon discovered how quickly the week went by and that some people were unable to make it along in that time. I think we pulled off a fantastic original idea and worked well together under a tight timeline with some unforeseen obstacles. It has been a learning curve for me and is my first official collaborative exhibition which I was proud to be a part of and hope it will be the first of many. I am excited at the prospect of developing Hot Air further and hope that we do decide to propose to exhibit again at different locations in the future.”

Kirsten Mae Wallace

For more information about the Student Curatorial Team, an initiative developed by Exhibitions DJCAD, please see this webpage.