An Evolving Exhibition is the show’s sub-title. This is simply because—as the art collective Found moved between three venues from February to May of this year—the artists took account of what happened as they went along. (Bear with me: this is an evolving review.)
The members of Found are all into experimental music, so the opening gig at Peacock Visual Arts in Aberdeen, (the threesome formed in their graduating year at Gray’s School of Art in 2002), was recorded. And it was made available as part of a double-CD package by the time the show had moved on to the Meffan, Forfar. (I’m listening to it as I write this review, letting its rhythms influence the result).
Kev Sim’s sticker installation—simple images in red or black, various sizes, stuck on the gallery wall in a loose grouping—also reflected that opening gig, judging by the prominence given to microphone, wind instrument and can of Tennent’s lager. This link wouldn’t have been obvious but for the slick and crucial Found website whose existence seems to owe much to the fact that one of the group’s founders—Tommy Perman—now works for an Edinburgh graphic design agency. His Julian Opie-like prints and paintings for the show include ‘A94 Glamis Junction’, the reality of which is not far from the show’s Forfar venue. (Yes, the generic modern road scene can be yours too, just drive in any direction from your own front door.) More challengingly, Perman’s ‘Town and Country’ shows that the components of one typical urban scene can be used to create a strikingly different world. And this revelation is further explored in ‘Remix Our Poster’. By Forfar, this ‘competition’ had already received entries which makes it clear that imaginative use of a graphics package means it is possible to come up with more or less any other image from the show’s poster! Not that I believe that the majority of these skilful productions were the work of anyone other than Found. (On the CD they give you three basic sounds and each of the Founders goes on to make a completely different track from those same components! Right now I have the six relevant tracks playing on programme repeat.)
The third member of the band, Ziggy Campbell, explores several different aesthetic avenues in the show. A video where he and a non-Found collaborator bring together a Hillman Imp car and the elderly Blues singer Model-T Ford, parallels the exhibition’s journey, in that it starts in Aberdeen and finishes in Edinburgh. But his most compelling contribution to teh show is ‘You Can’t Live in The Present Forever’ a conjunction of old and new technology (a DVD shines out from a screen introduced into a record-player box). The semi-abstract imagery whose colour-fields bounce off teh muted colours of the surrounding case, seem to capture—timelessly—the very mystery of life. ‘And you can’t say fairer than that’. Which is, I’m happy to write, a quote from a band member on the Found CD.
Duncan McLaren is an arts writer