Explore the City’s Hidden Gems with Edinburgh Art Festival

Discover hidden areas of the Scottish capital through Edinburgh Art Festival’s Commissions Programme. The programme aims to bring new artwork to public sites across Edinburgh, often in unexpected places…

Internationally acclaimed artists Nathan Coley, Alfredo Jaar, Rosalind Nashashibi, Sriwhana Spong and Corin Sworn have been selected for the Festival’s 2019 Commissions Programme presenting new projects under the title of Stories for an Uncertain World.

Nathan Coley

Debate Nathan Coley’s work at Parliament Hall

The Future is Inside Us, It’s not Somewhere Else is a major new project by 2007 Turner Prize shortlisted, Glasgow-based artist Nathan Coley, devised for the uniquely historic space of Edinburgh’s Parliament Hall, and inspired by the idealised views of a new world - as imagined by the old world of Europe - which appear on French 19th century hand printed wallpaper. Coley’s new project consists of a series of large-scale custom-made lightboxes which combine original wallpaper from Zuber & Cie with short texts selected by the artist. 

Alfredo Jaar

Look up at Alfredo Jaar's piece on Edinburgh's ‘Bridge of Sighs’

New York-based Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar will present a public intervention which takes its title I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On from the closing words of Samuel Beckett’s novel The Unnamable. A large-scale neon sign quoting Beckett’s text is to be installed on Edinburgh’s Bridge of Sighs, which spans West College Street, and will be accompanied by a series of live interventions which spread the text through the streets of Edinburgh over the course of the Festival. 

 Rosalind Nashashibi

Discover Rosalind Nashashibi's new work at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

A new two-part film by Glasgow School of Art graduate and 2017 Turner Prize shortlisted Rosalind Nashashibi (titled Part One: Where there is a joyous mood, there a comrade will appear to share a glass of wine and Part Two: The moon nearly at the full. The team horse goes astray.) is inspired by a short story by the sci-fi writer Ursula K. Le Guin. The Shobies Story (1990) follows a group of individuals as they come together in preparation for a journey to a distant planet using a new faster-than-light mode of space travel. The film will be shown at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Modern One. 

Corin Sworn

Immersive yourself in Corin Sworn's installation at Edinburgh College of Art

Canadian, Glasgow-based artist Corin Sworn brings together sculpture, performance and film in a new installation specially devised for Edinburgh College of Art’s newly re-opened sculpture court. Habits of Assembly explores how technology is fundamentally affecting the way we as humans experience our interior domestic worlds, as much as the external world around us. The project is developed in collaboration with poet Colin Herd, musician Jer Reid, and dancers Kai-Wen Chuang and Stephanie McMann, and looks back to experimental intermedia performances such as Set and Reset (1983) by acclaimed choreographer Trisha Brown and artist/composer Laurie Anderson.

Sriwhana Spong

Explore Sriwhana Spong’s piece inside St. Bernard’s Well

Sriwhana Spong is a New Zealand artist, currently living and working in London, whose work often explores the relationship between the body and language. Her new film castle-crystal centres on the writings of the 16th century mystic St Teresa of Avila (the subject of feminist Julia Kristeva’s novel Teresa: My Love), whose book The Interior Castle imagines a fictional space, a castle-crystal, that Teresa roams as she explores, through writing, her spiritual journey. Spong’s new work is accompanied by a special display of sculptures in the exquisite 18th century neo-classical temple known as St. Bernard’s Well. Sited on the banks of the picturesque Water of Leith.

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The thematic finds echoes too in Platform: 2019, supporting four emerging Scottish artists to make and present new work. Housed in The Fire Station at Edinburgh College of Art, this year’s group exhibition brings together new work by Anna Danielewicz, Joanne Dawson, Harry Maberly and Suds McKenna with works which use fiction and humour to explore issues ranging from embellishment and identity; to sustainability and fandom.

Sorcha Carey, Director of Edinburgh Art Festival, said:

We are delighted to announce further programme details today of our 2019 edition, including the artists in this year’s Commissions Programme. United by a shared interest in language and storytelling, the artists participating in Stories for an Uncertain World look to the past as well as to imagined futures, to uncover stories which speak to us in the precarious present.

Taking place between 25 July and 25 August 2019 this year’s Commissions Programme includes commissioned artwork from internationally renowned artists, alongside Platform: 2019, a showcase of work for those at the beginning of their careers. For full details and listings, visit the Edinburgh Art Festival website.

Photo Credits:
1. Nathan Coley, research image, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.
2. Alfredo Jaar, Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.
3. Rosalind Nashashibi, Part One: Where there is a joyous mood, there a comrade will appear to share a glass of wine (film still), 2018. Courtesy of the artist. 
4. Sriwhana Spong, having-seen-snake (test reel), 2016. Courtesy of the artist.
5. Corin Sworn, Polarity Boxing, 2017. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Margaret Salmon

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