Robin Arsenault - Dinnae
UBU (off site), Glasgow, until Fri 20 Oct
As you enter the gloomy Dennistoun flat, the big band music of ‘Tap Your Troubles Away’ from Mack and Mabel rings out. A small circle showing dancing legs and feet is projected on a screen, as though we are peeping through a hole, but slowly realise that these legs are not real, wooden in fact, and the tap dancing Mary-Janes are most definitely not in time to the music. They flop about in a rather random way, not keeping up with the song being belted out by Lisa Kirk. This disjunction of inspiration and effect demonstrates Arseneault’s concern with success and failure - do it well or just dinnae!
The rooms are dark because there are blinds at the window, pricked with holes: ‘Tap, Tap, Tap’, leaving patterns of light on the floor and up in lights; a tiny Broadway theatre. The fairytale legs are condemned to dance on. Or is this a ritual dance so that Pinocchio can become a real boy? The wooden legs used in the video sit menacingly in the corner of another room; maybe they run around at night, taunting the unicycles with their pentagonal wheels. Both exhibition rooms are filled with these useless unicycles, black and menacing, from six feet high down to six inches. They are offset by the relentlessly jolly song, and the blinds depicting big fart clouds/speech bubbles emitting between dancing legs like Aubrey Beardsley’s Lysistrata illustrations. But, be careful and dinnae trip on that rug. Who knows what might happen?