The Invisible College and Churches in the Modern World (3 stars)

Dual film & architecture exhibition focused on modern Catholicism

The Invisible College and Churches in the Modern World

Photo: Robert Proctor.

A dual exhibition which reflects the Catholic church’s process of aggiornamento (‘updating’) in the latter half of the 20th century, the two displays here examine the architecture of a new breed of modernist post-war places of worship in very different ways. In the case of Churches in the Modern World (subtitled ‘Roman Catholic Church Architecture in Britain 1955-1975’), part of a research project by Robert Proctor of Glasgow School of Art’s History of Architecture department, the method is to examine some of these buildings from Kensington to Kelvinside through an innovative display of photographs, plans and information printed on interlinked slabs of cardboard.

Alongside this sits Scots public art group NVA’s radical printed masterplan for the redevelopment of Gillespie, Kidd and Coia’s St Peter’s Seminary, the now-derelict priest training college in Cardross which is often cited as perhaps Scotland’s finest modernist building. Both displays are informative and well-presented, with the juxtaposition of Murray Grigor’s 1972 and 2009 silent documentaries on St Peter’s (the latter filmed shot-for-shot in monochrome by Seamus McGarvey) proving to be a powerfully essential meditation on the erosion of the physical and spiritual.

Lighthouse, Glasgow, until Wednesday 17 Oct.

The Invisible College & Churches in the Modern World

A dual display exploring Catholic church architecture of the 20th century, with particular focus on an important Mackintosh School of Architecture project and an insight, curated by NVA, into the past and future of St Peter’s Seminary (including a 1972 film made by Murray Grigor).

The Invisible College, Kilmahew/St Peter's Public Talks

Public talk to accompany NVA's exhibition on proposed futures for the ruined St Peter's Seminary building. Nature writer Tim Dee and Caitlin DeSilvey present talks on toxic landscapes and continued ruination respectively, and after that there's a panel discussion featuring renowned architects and NVA's Creative Director…


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