Charlotte Prodger's new film shows at the Venice Biennale and tours rural Scotland
- Katharine Gemmell
- 5 June 2019
Turner Prize-winning artist will represent Scotland at this year's Venice Biennale with her new film while it simultaneously tours Scotland
Since 2003, Scotland + Venice has provided Scottish artists with a place on the international stage at the prestigious Venice Biennale – one of the best visual arts festivals in the world. Supported by Creative Scotland, the National Galleries of Scotland and British Council Scotland, the partnership commissions a new and ambitious piece of work that is staged at the Bienniale and then returned to tour Scotland.
This year, Charlotte Prodger, recipient of the 2018 Turner Prize, was commissioned for a major single-channel video artwork. This new piece, SaF05, is the last in the trilogy of videos that began with 2015's Stoneymollan Trail and 2016's Turner-winning BRIDGIT and was curated in partnership with curator Linsey Young and Alexia Holt, associate director and visual arts producer at Cove Park. It was at Cove Park, Scotland's International Residency Centre near Helensburgh, where Prodger developed the concept for her Venice work. Holt says: 'It's a really amazing piece that deals with a lot of the key concerns and issues that Charlotte's earlier works deal with. The idea of growing up in a rural location with a queer identity; how that relates to your environment, and the contexts of which you grow up. It's a personal piece and it's very rich as well – the more you see it, the more that's revealed.'
Due to the medium of this year's commission, for the very first time, the 2019 work will tour Scotland at the exact same time as it is shown in Venice. 'With Scotland + Venice, the work has always come back to Scotland,' explains Alexia. 'That's usually – well, in every case – been the following year because, with sculptural work and those forms, you obviously can't show the work simultaneously. But with Charlotte's work being video, it has meant that we had the opportunity to do something new for this particular version. It's a lovely moment that we can allow international audiences to see Charlotte's work with audiences at home as well. It's really important because the project is so rooted in Scotland'.
The Scottish tour of SaF05 begins in Helensburgh at the Tower Digital Arts Centre on Thursday 27 June and then continues to Glasgow Film Theatre (Wed 3 Jul), Campbeltown Picture House (Thu 25 Jul), Aros Community Cultural Centre, Skye (Thu 27 Aug), An Lanntair, Isle of Lewis (Fri 27 Sep), Mareel, Shetland (Thu 24 Oct) and finishes at the Belmont Filmhouse, Aberdeen (Thu 21 Nov).
Alexia explains that the choice of a rural tour has significance to the project as a whole: 'The tour will travel to rural venues in areas that have a particular meaning and resonance for the artist; the screening in Aberdeen will link the programme to the region in which Charlotte grew up and the event in Glasgow will connect the tour to the city in which she now lives and works. The tour will also involve young artists and curators involved in the [Scotland + Venice] Professional Development Programme, providing an opportunity for these individuals to present Prodger's work in their own home regions.'
After each screening, there will be a short 'making of' documentary screened, made by Connolly Clark Film, that reveals the behind-the-scenes creation of the project and tour. On top of this, there will also be a talk with the curators and different participants involved in the Professional Development Programme. Tickets for the screenings are free and can be bought from the individual cinemas.