New exhibition to deal with cinema

The COOPER Gallery at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD) will be turned into the set of an imaginary film, complete with cinematic trailer flickering in the foyer and three large-scale neon signs announcing the different phases of a major ‘exhibition as movie’ that will open next week.

‘Surplus Cameo Decor’ is the work of the German artist Edgar Schmitz. The exhibition, which runs from October 18 until December 14, will be divided into three episodes, each featuring an array of filmic props installed in the gallery space.

These include a bronze tinted two-way mirror in a style borrowed from the infamous Palasthotel in East Berlin, the headquarters of secret police surveillance that the first of the sets is based upon and inspired by. Cameo appearances by actors, directors and other celebrities will be documented in photo shoots in the gallery setting.

Sophia Hao, Curator at DJCAD, said the Cooper Gallery was delighted to host the first solo exhibition in Scotland of work by this renowned international artist. “The work of Edgar Schmitz seeks to draw attention to the small parts of the vast blocks of knowledge that lie behind the quiet background voices, whispering and nudging us along certain designed paths.” she said.

“By turning Cooper Gallery into a semi-fictional hub for cinematic plots and invited cameo appearances of cultural elites, Schmitz provides a way into seeing how the world is continually contextualized by these background or incidental moments – the ambient politics of the everyday, how it is constructed and how we are continually and quietly spoken to by a multitude of authoritative voices.”

he exhibition’s three episodes are: ‘Palasthotel’ (October 18 to November 6) – the set based on the hotel the StaSi used to spy on foreign visitors to the German Democratic Republic. ‘Horizontes Soroa’ (November 8 to November 27) – set in the swimming pool of a remote Cuban resort, under refurbishment in the early 2000s. ‘Sindanao’ (November 29 to December 14) – set in 2017 Hong Kong ahead of the opening of the opening of a new super-museum.

To coincide with the exhibition, a travelling forum entitled ‘Hubs and Fictions’ that explores the condition of current art and the notion of ‘imported remoteness’ in exhibition making, will be launched at the Cooper Gallery on 30th November. It will continue at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead and Goldsmiths College in London.

Bringing together contributors of leading figures from the fields of artistic, cinematic and curatorial practice, with a geographic spread from China, Pakistan, to Germany and Britain, the forum will explore how fictions and projections overlap in different exhibition settings, and how plots play out in these.

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