Glasgow School of Art MFA Degree Show 2019
- David Pollock
- 7 June 2019
Impressive degree show featuring tuneful installations, abstract sculptures and sweary bunnies
There are certain pieces which emphasise exactly what's so enjoyable about Glasgow School of Art's MFA Degree Show. The cutesy cheek of Owain McGilvary and Yan White's digital cartoon print of a little bunny leaving its body with the motto 'Fuck this just gonna astral project' scrawled across it like graffiti is great. It's an accompaniment to a much larger and even odder video installation named 'A Glorious Manifesto in Support of Holes'.
Then there's the artist known only as Hio with 'The Inquisitor (or Prologue for the Disappearance of H)', in which an Asian woman in sunglasses and stylish bobbed haircut holds a gun-toting pose as still as possible, confronting the viewer with the forced dynamism and often sexualised violence of action movies. Jing Xie's 'Lady, Escalator and Hand' is also a success. Here, the artist films herself travelling up and down a store escalator with a hand outstretched towards those passing on the other side. It's a beautiful, quirky piece which reveals something more than just the result of a creative experiment; in each response, those being filmed become a part of the artwork, whether cheerfully high-fiving away, or scowling and muttering 'weirdo' under their breath. This simple experiment yields bold results.
While many of those artists showing may still only be in development, in terms of their technique, the youthful freshness and excitement of the new forms which some are trying out is infectious. Others, in fact, seem extremely confident of working at a large scale. In one darkened room, pieces by Rachel McBrinn and Samuel de Lange accompany each other nicely. The former conjures up all kind of associations about the relationship between human activity and modernist architecture with a monochrome video of a miming male figure projected onto a specially-installed concrete wall. The latter offers a three-screen video projection of blue orchid flowers, glowing like alien creatures in the dark.