Curated by Sarah Lowndes, Votive offers a well considered exhibition showcasing the works of international artists George Brecht, Chris Burden, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Thea Djordjadze, Torsten Lauschmann and Richard Wright. It also includes artefacts from the World Cultures Collection of Glasgow Museums and a recorded performance by Basque singer Nerea Bello.
The image of the votive offering – an object placed in a sacred space for ritual purposes – encapsulates the idea of object as event as this exhibition takes a lead from Fluxus artist, George Brecht’s seminal Chair Event in 1969. Brecht, who died last year and whose work has rarely been seen in Scotland, said: ‘Every event is an object anyway and every event has object-like quality’.
Also addressing this idea of performativity is the documentation of endurance artist Chris Burden’s 1972 performance ‘Bed Piece’ where he remained in bed for 22 days.
Both sculptural and performative, Torsten Lauschmann’s film installation ‘Dead Man’s Switch’ projects a moving still life of a burning candle onto the wall. As the flame gutters and blows out, the event continues in another dimension. A nod to lighting candles as an act of invocation and to Gerhard Richter’s painting ‘Kerze’, this work brings together the old and the new, extending the tension between the real and the static.
Turner prize -winner Richard Wright, whose work is meticulous and labour intensive, has made painstaking wall drawings on the far back wall of the CCA ‘chapel’. Here too the act of making is a sculptural event as the artist responds to the site-specific architectural conditions.
Alluding to amulets and talismans, the objects in this exhibition work a certain kind of magic. In an attempt not to take for granted the history of the last century of Western Art, but rather to revisit ideas and play with questions that have not yet fully been answered (and this is why people still make art), the objects work together to transcend that philosophical, intellectual and even poetic explanation of what is on display. It is open ended, but covers all corners; it is disconcerting, yet compelling; and it is truly beautiful as it puts us at ease while it supersedes its own premise.
CCA, Glasgow, until Sat 30 Jan