Glasgow International reveals its trailblazing 2020 programme
- Deborah Chu
- 18 September 2019
credit: Lewis Ronald
Influential contemporary art festival to question our current era of distraction, and feature new commissions from Martine Syms, Duncan Campbell and Georgina Starr
The Glasgow International Festival has announced the full details of its 2020 programme, featuring an ambitious line-up of work from some of the most innovative contemporary artists across the world. Taking place from Fri 24 April to Sun 10 May, the world-renowned biennial festival is not only one of the largest showcases of contemporary art in the world, but also highlights Glasgow as a major centre of the art world, with GI's dynamic programme stretching across the city's many major institutions, cultural hubs and art spaces, as well as into some more alternative venues, such as a former sex club.
The programme will be composed of two halves: a Director's Programme, which features larger-scale commissions and exhibitions, handpicked by Glasgow International's curatorial team of Richard Parry and Poi Marr in collaboration with partners and venues; and Across the City, which will include exhibitions and projects created by curators, artists and venues across the city. GI have also announced that, for the first time, all freelance projects in Across the City will receive funding from the Scottish Government's EXPO fund.
Tying the programme together is GI's theme of 'attention' – in this era of endless distraction, from social media to 24-hour news cycles, how, where and who do we give our attention to? The festival will suggest how GI – and art itself – can be a means of creating new opportunities to look and think about our everyday life and surroundings.
Some of the big names appearing on the Director's Programme include the American artist Martine Symes, whose exhibition will be co-curated with Tramway and uses a fusion of installation and digital media to examine Black identity and visibility. Tramway will also be housing Quarantaine, a major new film from Georgina Starr centred on two young women who are recruited into a secret sisterhood in pursuit of esoteric knowledge. Meanwhile, Jenkin van Zyl – the youngest artist in the Director's Programme – will be presenting an installation which uses motifs from pleasure and consensual violence to explore notions of performance and queerness.
Other featured artists include a commission from Turner Prize-winner Duncan Campbell, which will utilise animation, sound and an electromagnetic display; kinetic sculptures from Japanese artist Yuko Mohri; a survey exhibition of paintings by Carol Rhodes, who passed away in 2018; Canadian artist Nep Sidhu's first solo exhibition in Europe; works by Brazilian sculptor and installation artist Ana Mazzei; figurative paintings by Glasgow-based artist France-Lise McGurn; and a deep dive into the notion of the unreliable narrator through film by Scottish artist Sarah Forrest.
GI's Across the City programme was selected by a panel of curators and artists that included, alongside Parry and Poi, Eoin Dara, Head of Exhibitions at Dundee Contemporary Arts; Hanne Mugaas, Director Kunsthal Stavanger; and artist Alberta Whittle. All participating freelance projects this year received a minimum award of £1,500, with further awards distributed at £3,000 and £5,000. The top prize of £10,000 was awarded to the collective Chapter 13, which includes works by Kadar Attia, Hikaru Fujii and Margaret Salmon. Other major prize winners include Transmission's co-curated exhibition with artist and performer Ana Beatriz Almeida, and Many Studios' exhibition of works by Nigeria–based artist Ndidi Dike.
The creative feast truly extends across Glasgow, with new work from Jimmy Robert on display at the Hunterian; a new commission from Ingrid Pollard in partnership with Glasgow Women's Library's new Lesbian Archive; as well as works by Ilana Halperin; the late Donald Rodney; Dawn Mellor; Jacqueline Donachie; Graham Fagan; GI Bursary Award winner Iman Tajik; and much, much more.
Richard Parry, the Director of Glasgow International Festival, says: 'The theme for 2020 is "attention" and this idea of how we pay attention to something or how we attend to ourselves and each other is something we've sought to consider both in our approach to curating the festival, and also how we have remodelled the Across the City open programme, so that every selected freelance project is now funded. We are thrilled that for the first time, the Scottish Government's EXPO Fund is supporting the festival, enabling us to make these changes, and we are enormously excited to be bringing what we consider to be exemplary and varied artistic practices from across the world to this extraordinary city, which is so famed for its artists and the art that it produces.'
Glasgow International Festival, various venues across Glasgow, Fri 24 April–Sun 10 May, glasgowinternational.org.
Two-yearly festival of contemporary art commissioned from artists around the globe and including exhibitions in traditional gallery spaces, plus unique site-specific installations and live performance art. The 2020 festival has been postponed to 2021, however a digital programme is available online.