Blog Archives

Das Orgien Mysterien Theater

“i want to understand the concept of dionysian in a more up-to-date way, more scientifically, more psychologically. what is the dionysian phenomenon, this instinctual upsurge, this growing importance of intoxicating orgiastic sensual feelings, this onslaught of the unconscious, of unconscious powers, other than the pressure for abreaction, for excessive abreaction that wants to unblock stasis, to seek the breakthrough of urges, breakthrough of the chaotic-amorphic and balance of instinctual tensions. the endpoint of dionysian upsurge is therefore the endpoint of all abreaction. this profoundly dionysian excess is the basic experience of excess, which is identical with the dionysian phenomenon of tearing apart. the phenomenon of the dionysian contains the preliminary stage of christian brotherly love as an important factor in the bacchanalian intoxication. the narcotically numbing orgiastic intoxication has something communicative, disintegrating the personality.” Hermann Nitsch, 1976

Tadeusz Kantor: Inbetween Structures

On the occasion of acclaimed Polish theatre director Tadeusz Kantor’s 100th anniversary the Polish Cultural Institute in London and Polnisches Institut Berlin will bring a new perspective to Kantor’s complex oeuvre. The exhibition focuses on the early phase of Kantor’s career, highlighting the multi-layered nature of Kantor’s work specifically in the period of 1954-1965.

At the heart of the exhibition is the rarely shown and long lost film Attention…. Painting!, which won the prize for experimental film at the 1958 Venice Film Festival. The film presents beautiful interactions between painting and moving-image, it is paralleled by Kantor’s drawings, gouaches, paintings, collages, manifestos and photographs, emphasising his innovative practice – not bound to institutional norms that separate artistic mediums.

Inbetween Structures brings to the fore Kantor’s forward thinking approach, examining the intersection between Kantor’s visual and performance work.

The exhibition will debut at Summerhall’s Fringe 2015 and then travel to Germany to the Polnisches Institut Berlin for Berlin Art Week.

The exhibition is co-produced by the Polish Cultural Institute in London and the Polnisches Institut Berlin in partnership with Cricoteka, National Museum in Krakow, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and Krakow Festival Office and supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

Image courtesy of the National Museum in Krakow, private collection.

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After A.D

Long fascinated by Albrecht Durer’s ‘Young Hare’ (1502), a painting unquestionably viewed as an icon of naturalistic painting, Derrick Guild decided to make a series of paintings in the same composition but observed from different angles. He required a subject, and commissioned a taxidermist to pose a hare based on Durer’s. Guild was informed that achieving the position of Durer’s hare was anatomically impossible.

Guild has directed, within Summerhall, scenes from a fictitious film featuring Ewen Bremner; shot by photographer Phoebe Grigor whilst composer Marty Hailey has recorded and will perform a piece of music, contemporary of Durer’s and of our time.

Paintings, stills, props and music ruminate upon Guild’s discovery, furthering the fiction of Durers’ Hare. The related works playfully expanding on ideas of fecundity, Trompe l’oile and the imaginative power of nature.

A Lady’s Not A Gent’s

The Urinal is the first great feminist work of art, created by Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven in 1917 as a protest against America’s declaration of war on Germany. Long after she died, Duchamp appropriated it and robbed it of its meaning. This fact, known since 1982 but ignored by the art world, changes the history of conceptual art.

Discover the ‘urmutter’ of modernism, a great neglected feminist artist and watch all the myths about modern art evaporate before your eyes.

One Million Years Of Laughter

One Million Years of Laughter is a new series of performances and paintings finding humour in the contradictions that exist within commonplace actions and experiences. Using what is known about the early ‘Homo’ as the basis for this body of work Sherry looks at, even before the evolution of language, their use of laughter as a bonding mechanism.

Sherry throws the idea of acting the fool into a practical sphere. To think of early humans sitting around laughing is a source of comedy in itself, yet to this day, it has evolutionary benefits. Humour is often thought of in philosophical terms but its importance also lies in how we engender strong connections and manage our time efficiently.

Public performances have a long and poignant tradition and can be viewed as a gesture of social cohesion, expanding upon the relations and meanings of who we are. Sherry uses these moments to offer observations, reflections and laugher whilst his paintings work in conjunction, functioning as an anthropological thesis, looking at modern society from an archaic perspective, and rendering the banal with a fascinating hue.

NB. David Sherry will hold performances at Summerhall, and as part of Edinburgh Art Festival 2015 – three in St. Andrews Square.

Three Go Adventuring Again

Social cohesion, togetherness, individuality and trying to make work together without falling-out is the three sister collaboration Ortonandon. With the figure as a central motif, they consider body-form in relation to social politics and how identity can be represented through actions and props. They play with popular archetypes and social norms until these are abstracted into rhythms that are then danced, drawn, re-enacted, performed, directed, sculpted and expressed together.

For Summerhall, Ortonandon present two video installations accompanied by props that invite participation; How to Die takes the form of a tutorial whilst Family Patterning seeks to strategize the channeling of a three sister myth through familial intuition. Both films are concerned with an exploration of participative art creation and the desire for strangers to join in.

Lift access to Ortonandon is only possible at specific times, and you must be accompanied by a member of staff.


Unlimited’s first exhibition at Summerhall is a series of ambitious mixed media installations by the UK’s leading disabled artists. The exhibition deals with historical and contemporary issues, offering insight into the lives of others whilst also exploring topics which affect us all.

The works, which range from a sound installation echoing life living on the streets to psychedelic paintings exploring spirituality, challenge the myths which surround disability. The artists arrest misconceptions, opening up conversation around prejudice; a dedicated film space offers works on ageing and frailty, the legacy of war, and a darkly comic dinner party confronts associated clichés.

The exhibition embeds the artists’ work within contemporary art practice, bringing disabled people and artists within society to the fore and, in turn, reaching new audiences and shifting perceptions.

Unlimited is a three-year commissioning and support programme for disabled artists, delivered by Artsadmin and Shape.

Katherine Araniello, Richard Butchins, Nicola Canavan, Jez Colborne, Lea Cummings, Claire Cunningham, Tony Heaton, Sheila Hill, Simon Mckeown, Aidan Moesby and Pum Dunbar, Bekki Perriman, Craig Simpson

Image Credit: ALTAR/ER (detail) by Lea Cummings

Demarco European Art Foundation

This year the Foundation presents an overview of Richard Demarco’s archive, focusing on his work with artists, theatre makers and the cultural dialogues he initiated. Exhibitions include:

Paul Neagu and Friends
Artists include: Paul Neagu,Joseph Beuys, Fred Stiven, Ainslie Yule,Sorin Domitrescu, Arthur Watson, and Ian Hamilton Finlay/Richard Demarco

The exhibition coincides with the Henry Moore Institute’s exhibition Paul Neagu: Palpable Sculpture, which demonstrates Neagu’s significant contribution to the narrative of British sculpture. Paul Neagu and Friends gives insight into Demarco’s relationship with Neagu and how this in turn shaped a network of influential artists.

Tadeusz Kantor and the Edinburgh International Festival
An exhibition of event photography highlighting Demarco’s work with theatre director Tadeusz Kantor, relating to Kantor’s contributions to the Edinburgh International Festival, celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Other exhibitions include: Forth Studios’ Edinburgh International Festival Posters, Italian theatre and La Commedia dell’arte, in collaboration with Accademia Teatrale Veneta, Venice, an exhibition on the cultural dialogue between Poland and Scotland, in collaboration with the City of Wroclaw, and Beyond Conflict, a 2002 exhibition featuring artists exploring the interface between the cultures of Scotland and Islam.

The Foundation promotes contemporary visual and performing arts. Its Archive, which traces the work of its director Richard Demarco, is currently housed in Summerhall and The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. It is essentially an academic resource. The collection includes works of art by Joseph Beuys, Gunther Uecker, Abraham Ratner, Martin Bradley, Bill Featherstone, Jordi Pericot, Santiago Pericot, William Crozier, Julian Snelling and more.

The Thermos Museum

The Thermos Museum is a comedic but also edifying experience; suitcases unfold to reveal numerous astonishing displays. However, the public are not free to reign: visitors are escorted around the museum by the mysterious and disenchanted Tour Guide. Digression seems to rule over Flask information. Truths are blurred, and the concept of a museum is played with. The exhibits are presented in themed tableaux, such as “Thermos at War” (featuring audio-visual effects) and “Flasks of the world” (uniquely educational).

Tours are Wed-Sat, 5th-31st August, 2pm and 3pm,
Tour duration : 30mins

“A Joy” the Glasgow Herald

“A superb piece of artistic geekiness”
the List

“It’s about Flasks” Ben, aged 7.

Little Apocrypha

A multi-disciplinary exhibition staged across The Living Mountain record store and neighbouring unique space exploring the mysterious fictional ocean from Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris. Through a combination of print, video and sound installation the artists have used the 1961 science-fiction novel as a starting point to create their own collaborative fictional zone.

The work has been created especially for the exhibition and includes a series of prints from Al White, a video piece by Jamie Johnson and an extended audio loop by Lindsay Todd. A screen printed publication and audio cassette package will accompany the show.

Record store open every day 11am – 6pm during August, and from September onwards only on Saturdays, 10am – 6pm