This article is from 2006.
Now in its third year, Edinburgh's Annuale is expanding at quite a pace. There are fifteen events and exhibitions across twelve venues this time around, not counting the wealth of one-night performances and shows that raise the Annuale from being a series of exhibitions to the status of a true festival.
Unlike its fellow festivals, or the big bucks Biennales across the world, though, the Annuale does not aim to draw the best of the world's talent to Edinburgh, preferring to reverse the rubric and present local art to an international audience. 'At first we started with the idea to focus entirely on artist-run projects,' explains Annuale coordinator Kim Coleman, 'but we quickly realised that the Annuale should be about local activity; that we should champion local artistic production.'
The Annuale is also defined by a free-wheeling approach, unbound by the conventions of the gallery show. There are events, like the One O'clock Gun Garden Party, that match installation work with music and literature. As if such riches weren't enough, there will also be a number of blink-and-you'll miss them events - the Not Yet Night programme at Embassy, and, as in 2005, an ever-shifting set of shows at Total Kunst. This is not, however, a curatorial conceit, but another indication that the Annuale is committed to Edinburgh art and artists above all: 'The Annuale does select what can and can't be in the festival,' Coleman says, 'but in general it has to be a project that will happen in the city whether the Annuale is there or not.'
Such constraints won't feature next year, however. In 2007, the Annuale will take place in April. This is in part a practical consideration, freeing the festival's artists from the pressures of finding suitable venues in Edinburgh in August. More than that, it's an indication that, in three short years, the Annuale has grown up. (Jack Mottram)
For full listings on the Edinburgh Annuale see The List magazine throughout August or see www.edinburghartfestival.org