The Comic Book Project (4 stars)

This article is from 2007

Funny art for chin strokers

In a brave move, the curatorial team at the Collective have chosen to lighten the mood and go against the fashion for dry, high concept work that has clogged Scottish galleries for the last ten years or so. The Comic Book Project is the first leg of a series of events taking place in Edinburgh, that will bring together an enormous cast of characters – comedians, writers, illustrators and performers.

The programme is produced by the Collective in association with Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Book Festival and the Traverse theatre, and sets out to ‘examine the relationship between modes of performative practice within visual art, theatre and comedy’. Even though the organisers have confused ideas of the more fashionable term ‘performativity’ with performance itself, this oft-repeated mistake is of no consequence when faced with the work on display.

If you fancy a good chortle then take your time over the enormous drawing by Mel Brimfield, an overblown page from a comic book that tells the apocryphal tale of the love affair between Barbara Streisand and that charismatic, controversial Edinburgh Festival legend Joseph Beuys. Adam Dant’s equally gigantic drawing follows the story of a host of characters who start off by being stuck in things (a facile metaphor for our existential plight as humans), who go on to find liberation through a series of hysterical events. Having a giggle at his work may help you do something similar.

Collective Gallery, 220 1260, until 15 Oct, Tue–Sat noon–5pm, free.

The Comic Book Project

  • 4 stars

The Collective bucks the trend for dry high concept work with this lighthearted, unique project produced in association with the Traverse Theatre, Film Festival and the Book Festival aimed at exploring the relationship between performance and visual art. Artists include Mel Brimfield, Adam Dant, Brian Dewan, John Hegley…

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