Elizabeth Price Rosie Roberts
Rosie Roberts, ‘software and hardware equations’, 2023

‘I a m i n t e r e s t e d i n w h a t y o u t h i n k ?’

I could imagine this sentence being typed, recorded, reproduced and set to a sonorous beat over each one of Elizabeth Price’s giant screens at the Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow. This thought is where the following three commissions, and much of my own work, begins, the shared experience of reflecting on creative work in a specific place: attending to its social affect, always relational, activated by conversation and critique. The installation is an accomplished if formidable room filled with psychic processes and politics made physical by an extensive—almost theatrical—projection rig. Visiting is an all encompassing experience. I am interested to know what is left when that experience is gone—can we find notes of it in the future? How does the work and its former presence linger outside of formalised archives? And consequently, what are the ways in which writing becomes a paratext to art making and vice-versa?

There have been a few times recently when it feels like an idea or artist has Come To Scotland [1] and currently Elizabeth Price is here. With a large-scale commission and research fellowship at the Hunterian, this installation at GoMA, a Friday Event slot at the Glasgow School of Art, a two day research symposium dedicated to the themes of the work, and (many but probably) two key reviews by prolific Glasgow based writers. Price is here. If you hadn’t heard of her or experienced the work before then you probably will have now. There is some chance involved in this flurry, public presentations of the work postponed by pandemic etc, however it is undeniably a major moment for the artist here in Glasgow.

In light of this it may seem strange to commission more response, but the three articles that follow take a deep dive into the specificity of the work on show at the GoMA. The privilege of the commissioning position enables an editor to ask ‘I am interested in what you think?’ and then share the answer. The following responses analyse how each material facet of Price’s installation interacts with its temporary home and contextualise what imprint it might make on those viewing, making, studying and teaching art here. They note a moment of significant exposure—for the artist in a city she has a long relationship with—through written response.

Rachel McBrinn is an artist and filmmaker based in Edinburgh. She has been commissioned to respond to the cinematography of the SLOW DANS cycle. Her filmmaking practice is rooted in conversation and relationship building, incorporating elements of observational documentary, experimental image-making, and often builds upon long term site-responsive and archival research.

Ailie Ormston is a composer who makes acoustic and electronic music, sometimes together and sometimes separately. They have been commissioned to respond to the aural tactics of SLOW DANS. Ormston’s work is mainly concerned with motivic development, counterpoint, microtonality and timbral abstraction, using improvisation and assemblage.

Rosie O’Grady is an artist and writer based in Glasgow. She is responding to SLOW DANS’ performativity. Her practice manifests in video, performance, text, print, installation and temporary intervention. Rosie is currently undertaking a part-time MLitt in Art Writing at Glasgow School of Art.

The responses will be published together as an immediate series alongside a concluding text that thinks around big budget artworks, the blockbuster, and glasgow cinematic interactions with artistic installations. How does the hardware of artwork become the software of memory?

SLOW DANS is a cycle of three 10 screen videos—KOHL, FELT TIP, and THE TEACHERS. These three works present a fictional past, parallel present, and imagined future, interweaving compact narratives that explore social and sexual histories and our changing relationship with the material and the digital. Following the presentation at GoMA FELT TIP will enter the Glasgow Museums’ collection.

Elizabeth Price is an internationally renowned artist with work in collections around the world. She has had solo exhibitions at Tate Britain, London, UK; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA; Chicago Institute of Art, USA; Julia Stoschek Foundation, Dusseldorf, Germany; The Baltic, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK; another exhibition in Glasgow, UNDERFOOT, was mounted at The Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow (closed 16 April 2023).

SLOW DANS is a collaboration between Artangel, Film and Video Umbrella, Nottingham Contemporary, the Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and Glasgow Life Museums with previous iterations of the trilogy shown in Manchester (2019) and London (2020).

Rosie Roberts is an artist, writer and editor in Glasgow generally working collaboratively through ideas of synchronicity, time, locality and affect. She also works as a tour guide and in a shop. Recent works include: Atmospheres of Collaboration a radio show for NoBounds Radio in collaboration with Alison Scott, art classes for HomeStart and Glasgow Sculpture Studios, a poetry pamphlet Dialogues of A published by Death of Workers Press 2022 and A Score for Getting in Synch worked in collaboration with Kirstin Halliday at the Work Room and Take Me Somewhere studios, Tramway.

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Rosie Roberts is an artist, writer and editor in Glasgow generally working collaboratively through ideas of synchronicity, time, locality and affect. She also works as a tour guide and in a shop. She commissioned Ailie Ormston, Rachel McBrinn and Rosie O’Grady to respond to Elizabeth Price’s work SLOW DANS.

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Elizabeth Price studied at the Ruskin School of Art at Oxford University, 1985-88 and the Royal College of Art in London, graduating in 1991. In 1999 she received her PhD in Fine Art from Leeds University. Working mainly with digital video, Price creates immersive pieces which envelop the viewer. Combining archival imagery, photography, text and sound, the works have an immersive, surreal quality.

Elizabeth Price: SLOW DANS, 27 Jan to 14 May 2023. Mon-Thu & Sat 10am to 5pm, Fri & Sun 11am to 5pm. Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow

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[1] e.g. When I was in art school 2011/12 I’m sure you couldn’t move without being wafted by a Tony Swain collage, or walking into a Martin Creed Room, Mark Wallingers double DCA/Fruitmarket whammy of 2017 everything became octopuses in 2018, 2019 Jasmina Cibic had back-to-back exhibitions at the CCA Glasgow and Cooper Gallery Dundee, we had peak Ursula Le Guin saturation circa 2020.Bats, jellyfish, mushrooms have all had their moment to thrive in this artistic world