Joey Simons 'The fearful part of it was the absence', 2021

Joey Simons 'The fearful part of it was the absence', 2021

Writing Riots with Joey Simons


9 Jul 2022  



In September 2022, artist and researcher Joey Simons came to Collective for an evening of riotous assembly on Calton Hill, favoured retreat of the Edinburgh mob.

As part of his recent project The Fearful Part Of It Was the Absence, Joey collated montages of texts, first-hand accounts, newspaper reports, governments edicts, documentary extracts, poems, placards, songs and slogans relating to the history of riots (and the riots that weren’t) in Glasgow. These have then been read and filmed at sites of riot across the city, many now flattened, forgotten or demolished in the latest city-wide round of gentrification and regeneration.

The Edinburgh crowd had its own fearsome reputation, and for three centuries incited fear, frenzy and repression in the well-heeled classes who trod the New Town. The press’s hysterical response to the Craigmillar ‘riots’ of 1994 showed that, just like in Easterhouse, that fear has never quite gone away.

In this one-off event, we discussed the radical history of the Edinburgh mob and what it means for organising in the city today, then took to the National Monument to drink claret and film a collective reading, before incorporating the experience into the exhibition.

Image: Joey Simons ,'The Fearful Part Of It Was The Absence', 2021, image credit Jack Wrigley

Annuale 2022

Annuale is back !! Returning and rebirthing after a 2 year hiatus due to the covid-19 pandemic, the 2022 edition of Annuale will run from the 8th – the 15th of July. Annuale is EMBASSY Gallery’s grassroots festival of contemporary visual art that will take place in venues across Edinburgh and online.