The Saw Show: Group Show (4 stars)

Finn, 34 Elliot Road, Finnieston, Glasgow. RUN ENDED


With 26 students and graduates (mostly from Glasgow School of Art) exhibiting new work, the old sawmill in Finnieston feels like an uncanny parody of an art college, the recurring nightmare of a degree show dragged from the cracked head of a freshly bloodied alumni. Outside, it’s a warm summer’s day, but inside it’s very dark indeed.

The gloom of the first floor is pierced with flickering light and funereal rumblings coming from the work of Andy Wake and Sigga Bjorg Sigurdardottir. Wake’s film ‘Trickster Cycle’ is one of the strongest pieces in the show, and is reminiscent of the work of Duncan Marquiss (who is thanked in the credits). ‘One time, all the noises met in one place. And I was there,’ choruses a legion of voices, as colour and lights throb and pour ominously from the screen. A racket from upstairs; someone is whaling as Jo Robertson’s organ is being thumped. And then a loud bang from behind black plastic sheeting - Kristian Koerner’s balloon is being burst in a shocking short film.

As things get a bit hysterical downstairs, the noise of footsteps upstairs act as a macabre lure. Past Keith Boadwee’s chopped-up porn on the stairway, you are drawn by light and the flickering tinsel blowing over a small stage (a few artists performed on the opening night). Leanne Coughlin has placed a pile of shark’s teeth next to a pretty music box on a bench near the window, and as you turn the small lever, the theme tune from Jaws is played slowly and sweetly. In the next room Manuela Gernedel sets the dark blue sky on fire in a scribbled seascape that’s one of the best paintings in the show.

The artists hope to have another show in the space later in the summer, to tease something new out of the three storey industrial space. It’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the place, with its intoxicating fug of a hundred years of sweat and oil. The graffiti written all over the walls adds to the sense of unease: ‘Jinky he’s mad. Joe he’s mad. We’re both mad. Mad!’
(Alexander Kennedy)

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