Recent Futures

From Neil Mulholland and Robin Baillie on The Recent Future of Scottish Art reviewing Scottish Art since 1960 Historical Reflections and Contemporary Overviews
Craig Richardson (2011) London, Ashgate, 230 pages ISBN: 978-0-7546-6124-5
in the new issue of Variant.

“These artists may well have been formative influences on his own practice, but to imagine that this alone makes them ‘exemplary’ is folly. Exemplars of what we might ask? Of their time and place? How can anyone be certain of this, that we have chosen the correct canon? We can’t convincingly argue that some artists (those included) are any more exemplars of ‘Scottish’ art than others (those excluded). To do that we would need to have an ethnic, possibly essentialist, understanding of the ‘Scottishness’ of art, as if there were somehow degrees of ‘Scottishness’ by which we might evaluate matters. This act of territorialisation is Arnoldian, Leavisite even. It implies that the ethnic constructions of ‘Scottishness’ that we find in and around art, imaginaries that need to be deconstructed, are the method by which we should judge this art. The problem here, of course, is that we can make almost anything seem as if it is uniquely and essentially ‘Scottish’. Hence Scottish Tories, Scottish Labour, Scottish Sun, Scotmid, dotSCOT, etc. Since ‘Scottishness’, like any other form of ethnic identity, is constantly contested, a moving target, we can’t use it as a benchmark to evaluate anything.”

from Neil Mulholland and Robin Baillie on The Recent Future of Scottish Art reviewing Scottish Art since 1960 Historical Reflections and Contemporary Overviews
Craig Richardson (2011) London, Ashgate, 230 pages ISBN: 978-0-7546-6124-5
in the new issue of Variant.

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