Artist Talk: Colin Gray

Thursday, 16 October 2014 6.30pm


In this illustrated talk, Colin Gray will discuss the development of his ‘intimate’ photography and the relationship between the staged and the documentary image. He will talk about how he collaborated and used photography as a therapy for himself and his parents over a 34 year time span.

Coinciding with the exhibition, 'Colin Gray: a Journey with his Parents, through Love, Life and Death,' at North Edinburgh Arts Centre, this event is presented in association with Street Level Photoworks and Luminate 2014.

This event is free, but places are limited. Please book your ticket here

 Heaven and Hull (1990), Colin Gray.  Courtesy the artist.

ECA Friday Talk | Carol Mavor | 'Mouthing Gold, Spitting Gold Mush' OR ‘Eating Sadistically'

Friday, 24 October 2014 11.30am - 1.00pm

Venue: Main Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh College of Art, Lauriston Building 

Mouthing gold, spitting gold mush—
Ted Hughes, 'Midas'

The fairy tale and related myths and fables, often turn on gold. Midas wished for everything that he touched to turn to gold, but the outcome was disastrous. He found that he could not eat (gold). This lecture takes the golden tale (from Ovid's 'Midas' to Grimms' 'The Golden Key' to Tim Krabbé's The Golden Egg) as a terrible eating: omophagous, cannibalistic and dangerous. Images by Janine Antoni, Kiki Smith and Marina Abramović include gold nipple buttons, a gold tongue broche and dessert pastry sprinkled with raw gold. In all, eating gold is sadistic. Sadism demands a story (Laura Mulvey) and the golden fairy tale delivers it with 'a tone licked clean' (James Merrill).

The lecture is part of Mavor's new book Aurelia: Art and Literature Through the Mouth of the Fairy Tale (forthcoming from Reaktion Books, 2015).

No need to book - just turn up.

Image: Kelly McCallum, Do You Hear What I Hear? (2007) nineteenth-century taxidermy fox, cast gold-plated maggots.

Film Screening & Discussion | Carol Mavor and Megan Powell’s FULL (2014)

Thursday, 23 October 2014 6.30pm

A screening of the 39-minute film by Carol Mavor and Megan Powell, followed by an in-conversation with the filmmakers and the audience. 

Ten-year old Ivo does not want to grow. Carol Mavor and Megan Powell's black and white film is chock-full of gorgeous imagery of cocoons, sprouting mushrooms, butterflies feeding with their coiled tongues, a field planted with two hospital beds, an empty nest being torn in two, a bowl of over-spilling milk, a mother, a father and a boy. With the combined sensibility of Chris Marker's La Jetée and Francesca Woodman's photography, the viewer is taken through the drama and terror of a boy who prefers not to eat.

Carol Mavor calls herself an 'artist historian'. She is the author of five books, most recently Blue Mythologies (2013), which creatively engage with the representation of childhood, photography, the maternal body, colour, boyishness, girlishness, memory, forgetting and experimental cinema. Her Reading Boyishly was named by Grayson Perry as his 2008 'Book of the Year'. For her short Fairy Tale Still Almost Blue, the Philadelphia Enquirer writes: 'I was drawn to Mavor's hauntingly beautiful film...narrated in her own hypnotic voice, which is something akin to an all-female, fairy tale version of Thomas Mann dark novella Death in Venice.' Currently, Mavor is writing a novel entitled Like a Lake.

Megan Powell is a photographer and filmmaker, who received her MA from Royal College of Art. For her eye for seeing the unseen, she was most recently honoured with a residency at Winterbourne House and Gardens, as part of a commission funded by the Arts Council, to film and photograph a long-time favourite subject of hers: bees. This latest project is inspired by the photographs of Alfred Watkins, who famously invented a tiny and efficient light meter called the 'Bee Meter'.

This is a free event but places are limited. Please book your ticket here.

Screening & Discussion | The Act of Killing

Saturday, 25 October 2014 1.00pm


Venue: Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road Edinburgh EH3 9BZ 

Tickets can be purchased directly from the Filmhouse

This “bone-chilling” documentary follows Anwar Congo, leader of a death squad in 1960s Indonesia. Flipping the conventional focus on the victims of atrocities, Director Joshua Oppenheimer instead turns his cameras on the unrepentant – and unpunished – perpetrators. Inviting men who directly participated in the murder and torture of more than a million suspected Communists, ethnic Chinese and intellectuals to dramatise their crimes in the genre of their choice, he creates a surreal and intensely disturbing psycho-spectacle.

The Act of Killing has been described as both a ‘game changer’ and a ‘high-minded snuff movie’. Differing viewpoints on this controversial film will be aired and debated in the post-screening discussion led by the photographer and writer Owen Logan.

Talk | Fraser MacDonald | Tir a'Mhurain: Paul Strand and the Hebridean Cold War

Wednesday, 1 October 2014 6.00pm

This lecture examines the planning, conception and development of Paul Strand's Scottish photography – exactly sixty years after his summer residence in the Outer Hebrides. Strand’s status as one of the pre-eminent American photographers of the twentieth century is usually attributed to his early abstract works from 1916-1930. Rather less attention has been paid to his postwar photography in the period of his Cold War exile from McCarthyite America. On the islands of South Uist and Benbecula Strand completed over a hundred photogravures of people and landscape, many of which reflect a concern among Left-aligned artists and folklorists to ‘salvage’ oral Gaelic culture amid the threat of a militarised modernity. This lecture explores his resulting book, Tir a’Mhurain / Outer Hebrides, tracing connections between Strand’s radical politics and the distinctive forms of his modernism.

Fraser MacDonald is an historical geographer at the University of Edinburgh and a regular contributor to The Guardian. His work centres on the places and landscapes of twentieth century Scotland as well as on the histories of art, science and technology. His current project is a book on Frank Malina, an astronautical engineer and artist, whose pioneering rocket technology evolved into the world's first nuclear missile. When tested in South Uist in the late 1950s, this rocket became an oblique influence on the development of Paul Strand's Scottish portfolio.

This is a free event but places are limited. Please book your ticket here.

Paul Strand: A Young Boy, South Uist, Hebrides, 1954​ © Aperture Foundation, Inc., Paul Strand Archive

Tuesday Tea and Tour with Luminate

Tuesday, 21 October 2014 11am - 2pm


Join staff for a relaxed, informal guided tour of the gallery, its creative facilities and the current exhibition, The Kings Peace: Realism and War. The tour will be followed by conversation, tea nad cake in the library area, with the chance to learn more about Stills and ways to get involved.

This tour is delivered in partnership with Luminate.

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Luminate, Scotland's creative ageing festival, celebrates our creative lives as we age. Launched in 2012, Luminate is supported by Creative Scotland, the Baring Foundation and Age Scotland.

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