Kandinsky in Govan
Alastair McIntosh, the organiser of the three day festival celebrating ‘art, spirituality and the future’ explains the need to explore “art as service”:
“With keynote speakers including leading art experts and the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, we will be exploring how art can speak in places of poverty today. The conference will challenge the narcissistic nihilism of contemporary art forms that have turned their backs on beauty and, perhaps arguably, lost sight of art’s deepest function.”
I’m not sure of the basis of the cultural critique McIntosh is putting forward here. Is it against art as commodity? Art reflecting reality? Art that isn’t beautiful?. It’s not entirely clear, but the event programme sounds amazing. Highlights will include an exhibition and talk on Douglas Strang’s Liminal – first displayed at Dark Mountain 2011, Norman Bissell and Helen Kyle on Geopoetics, and a tour of the GalGael Workshops with Tam McGarvey.
McIntosh argues: “Kandinsky never had anything to do with Govan. But people here will typically say of art: “We don’t want more ugliness. We see enough of self-harming on the streets. We want art that’s about beauty and which uplifts the human spirit.” The name, Govan, means “The Place of the Smith” and there is a fire in Govan that burns off pretentiousness. The pretentiousness of artists who make a fetish of misery; who lack connection to love and beauty and try to make a virtue of wallowing in vacuity instead.”