Glasgow Open House offers great snooping opportunities
- Jessica Ramm
- 4 May 2017
There's gender politics, nosy neighbours and the invitation to bathe in jam at the Glasgow DIY arts festival
As tenement buzzers ring out across the city, Glasgow Open House is boisterous and disorderly proof that nosiness about the neighbours is the cornerstone of the community. Celebrating the DIY ethos of artists working at home in their bedrooms and spare cupboards, the festival's success is also due to the great snooping opportunities it provides.
Many of the artists taking part see Glasgow Open House as an opportunity to sidestep the institutional contexts in which art is usually exhibited and invite their less arty neighbours over from next-door. Marvin Gaye Chetwynd describes it as being 'a chance to experiment freely outside the gallery.' In her hallway an art student is having a plated cooked breakfast laid out on her naked body, complete with the Sunday Herald.
Meanwhile, art collective Edinburgh Leisure get ready to perform in what Marvin calls 'the white heterosexual male's room' with Keith Farquhar making threateningly percussive music using a staple-gun and a roll of gaffer tape while a Scottish Widows advert plays in the background.
Naturally gender politics are a recurring concern. A significant proportion of the work on show refashions mundane domestic routine into performance, objects and installations. A Lock of Owen Wilson's Hair isn't the only presentation of artists cutting each other's hair or applying one another's makeup as part of a crammed performance programme.
Elsewhere, The Freshly Baked Domestic Goddesses are making pasta in the kitchen and inviting visitors to bathe in jam while they explore their work 'away from the pressure of Uni.' If a women's place is in the home, then the rest of the community will have to come on in while we take some time to question our assumptions.
For now artists are setting their own parameters, and refusing to differentiate between work, pleasure and politics - never mind picking up the empty beer cans afterwards.
Glasgow Open House, Various venues, Glasgow, Fri 28 Apr–Sun 1 May.