Thomas Kilpper: The Politics of Heritage vs the Heritage of Politics
- Neil Cooper
- 31 May 2019
Kilpper celebrates how worlds can be turned upside down with a carved-up cast list of pop / art stars
This show by German artist-activist Thomas Kilpper is the inaugural exhibition in Edinburgh Printmakers' new home at Castle Mills in Fountainbridge, the former rubber factory which later became a brewery. As the show's title suggests, Kilpper embraces the social-political and artistic history of the venue, marking out its contradictions as he goes.
He does this via a monumental site-specific rogues' gallery that fills floor and ceiling with a partisan topography of past, present and possible futures, with mirror images of a carved-up cast list of pop / art stars that would put Peter Blake's gathering for Sergeant Pepper in the psychedelic shade.
Over 36 images, resembling a woodcut of a trade union banner writ large, Kilpper juxtaposes factory workers with art figures such as Joseph Beuys, Richard Demarco and Andy Warhol. John Lydon and Jeremy Corbyn are there, as are artists Jim Lamble, Ross Sinclair and Alasdair Gray. Rats sit aloft the shoulders of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage. A wobbly Theresa May totters next to Kate Moss, while Fountainbridge boy Sean Connery, captured in his artists' model days, shows exactly why he's called 'Big' Tam. As a statement – of intent as much as reflection – Kilpper celebrates how worlds can be turned upside down.
Edinburgh Printmakers, until Sat 13 Jul.