Visual art review: Summerhall's spring shows (4 stars)

Visual art review: Summerhall's spring shows

Ian Hughes, 'And God Shall Wipe All Tears from Their Eyes'

Featuring the work of Stefan Roloff, Ian Hughes, Colin Jarvie, Harry Papadopoulos & Kevin Williamson

Loss, migration, the Holocaust and a strange form of post-apocalyptic euphoria filter in various ways through the nine new exhibitions at Summerhall. The former is seen most explicitly in Kindness of Strangers, the first UK show by German-American artist Stefan Roloff, whose large-scale video installation charts the story of two refugees – a Sudanese woman and an Iranian man – in Berlin. This sits evocatively beside shadowed interviews with people describing their ideal world, and an exploration of the detention of Roloff's father by the Gestapo.

The anonymity of Roloff's subjects is reflected in the black-and-white imagery of Karin Gunnarsson's Apparitions, while the array of Beuysian detritus in Ian Hughes' remarkable Unearthed Tongues Set Free mixes religious iconography with images from the Holocaust to give real-life events dignity and power.

Oddly, Peter Gabriel provides a link between Roloff and Hughes. While Hughes has provided album artwork for him, Roloff's video piece, 'Face', was produced by him, with Gabriel using it as a prototype for the video that accompanied 'Sledgehammer'. The retrospective of photographic works by the late Colin Jarvie (In Praise of Shadows) is a travelogue of light, which complements The Edited take on Harry Papadopoulos' celebrated images of Scotland's post-punk scene between 1979 and 1984. This seems to erupt on to the dancefloor of Love To Love You Baby, Kevin Williamson's filmic responses to eight songs by Donna Summer as produced by Giorgio Moroder, the German who revolutionised dance music for a post-war alliance between Europe and America that brought a generation back to pulsing, neon-driven life.

Summerhall, Edinburgh, until Sat 22 Mar.

The Kindness of Strangers - trailer, english

Stefan Roloff: The Kindness of Strangers

Video work by the veteran German-American video artist, who's collaborated with (among other people) Peter Gabriel.

Ian Hughes: Unearthed Tongues Set Free

Icon-like images inspired by the artist's trips to Russia and Poland, exploring the effect of the Holocaust on Europe, Russia and elsewhere.

Colin Jarvie: In Praise of Shadows

Images by the late and hugely respected photographer and teacher, including his celebrated series (The Bus Drivers of Acapulco).

Kevin Williamson: Love to Love You Baby

Short films by the Rebel Inc founder, inspired by Donna Summer.

Harry Papadopoulos: The Edit

Photography by legendary photographer of the Scottish post-punk scene, featuring Orange Juice, Claire Grogan, the Dreamboys (with a very young Peter Capaldi) and others.

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