Almost two months have now passed since we closed our home on Calton Hill. Like many other charities, much of our team is furloughed and the rest of us are based at home in now-established routines of working, Zooming, caring, hoping, worrying and planning. The ‘new normal’ doesn’t feel normal, but the old normal has gone and maybe we don’t want all of it back.
In the weeks following lockdown we looked at Collective’s archive with a fresh perspective and re-visited artists’ work which we felt had something to say about these times. We enjoyed sharing a programme of screenings with you and unpicking what we’d all seen in a series of online discussions.
We also promised that we would continue to support artists and create a programme of new work in the weeks and months ahead to engage with and respond to the current situation. In doing so, we know that artists themselves are also balancing the competing demands of lockdown: work; home-life; healthcare, and we haven’t assumed that productivity is easy, or even possible right now.
Over the next few weeks we will be sharing new work by artists Collective began working with ‘before’ but which all speak to ‘now’.
Harry Josephine Giles is a writer and performer from Orkney who lives in Leith. Collective is working with Harry Josephine to create a radical new manifesto, by and for disabled artists working in Scotland. Not Going Back to Normalwill bring together contributions of art and ideas which show what the arts in Scotland could and should be like for disabled artists in the post-pandemic era.
Not Going Back to Normal is produced by Collective and is supported by a group of Scottish visual arts organisations working on improving disability access and inclusion. They are: Arika, Artlink, CCA, DCA, Glasgow School of Art Exhibitions, Project Ability and the Scottish Sculpture Workshop.
Alexandra Laudo is an independent curator based in Barcelona. Her performance lecture How to Observe a Nocturnal Sky sold out at Collective in 2019. Building on her research into the history of astronomy and time-keeping at the City Observatory on Calton Hill, we are delighted to present a new digital iteration of How to Observe a Nocturnal Sky to be launched on our website Wednesday 20 May.
Satellites Programme 2019 participants Helen McCrorie, Emmie McLuskey, Kimberley O'Neill, and Katie Shannon recently reflected on their extended period of working together by making a new poster edition exploring themes of collective social structures and collaboration. Instead of the originally planned live launch event, the group will launch a new online sound event in early June with contributions from each participant.
Laura Yuile is an artist from Glasgow, currently based in London. Responding to the recent explosion in enacting much of our lives through screens within our domestic spaces, Laura will produce a film which draws on TV Sitcom tropes to depict the life of its central characters (Laura, Laura and Laura) in our current reality of self-isolation.
Karen Cunningham has been Collective’s Artist in Residence since January this year and has been researching our site and its locale in relation to processes of de-modernisation which seek to ‘un-do’ the apparently permanent structures of imperialism. A new online film and postcard edition drawing on Karen’s research will be released in late June.