Kim Coleman and Jenny Hogarth: Staged
Edinburgh-based artists stage a cultural land grab from August’s invasion
This article is from 2010.
Entered by way of a curtained-off doorway and presented in a compact room whose pillar-effect cornices form a kind of proscenium arch, this collaborative show by Edinburgh-based artists Coleman and Hogarth sets out its stall as a reflection upon the swamping of the city by the bulk of the international entertainment industry in August. Yet there’s only one character here, and that’s the city of Edinburgh itself, displayed in five looped video projections filling each wall. Staged is a mesmerising piece of psychogeographic fieldwork, a view upon the city which feels as representative as the panorama visible from the venue door. It’s certainly manipulative, as the familiar and sweeping Calton Hill views of Leith and Arthur’s Seat are grabbed at and snatched from sight by jerky pans and fast zooms, the lens resting instead upon familiar sandstone brickwork, weathered copper cupolas, venerable marble slabs and sanded floorboards, and the brass and red-cushioned interiors of a New Town bar and the Playhouse itself.
In a month where Edinburgh must deal with being placed in a reductive and perhaps unrepresentative box by the media, Staged takes a little reminder of its true essence and hides it away in plain sight. It may not make a difference that the artists are based in the city, but whatever the ‘real’ Edinburgh is, this feels like a determined cultural land grab back from August’s colonial invasion.
Collective Gallery at City Observatory, 220 1260, until 15 Aug, free.