• Wed. May 22nd, 2024

In Parting Glass

ByEffie Sutcliffe

Jan 18, 2016

Summerhall (Laboratory Gallery): Until 9th March

In Parting Glass, the first collaboration between choreographer Riccardo Buscarini and sound and visual artist Richard Taylor, is described as an exploration of memory, intimacy, and exposure. The part exhibition, part performance piece takes place in Summerhall’s Laboratory Gallery. It is a starkly empty space with a distinctly clinical feel that could have been more successfully utilized to highlight Taylor and Buscarini’s intentions of intimacy and emotion.

The performance element of this exhibition comes in the form of a dance, performed and choreographed by Buscarini, only at the opening and closing. Buscarini mentions the choice to leave traces “through and of movement” within the exhibition as a way of preserving and immortalizing an art form, which by its very nature is fleeting.

The middle box, out of three displaying the permanent work, in which Buscarini has performed, feels shrine-like, his neatly folded jumper and a collection of small photographs being all that fill the void-like glass case. The imprints left on the glass by Buscarini’s hands and face during his first performance give a small sense of human presence, but to say this immortalized his performance in a palpable sense might be overly generous.   

The final glass case was inhabited by a range of objects, some found pieces and a collection of small glazed clay sculptures made by Taylor. The cabinet seemed disjointed, perhaps a conscious effort by Taylor to comment on the fragmented nature of memory. This could have been an interesting idea but unfortunately, it was somewhat ineffective, leaving a great deal of unanswered questions about his intentions.

A sense of slight confusion about the exhibit was continued throughout, creating the sense that the artists had left the room unfinished. The relatively small space seemed empty, the white walls and large panes of glass creating an uncomfortable sense of void. The three boxes had little in the way of a common theme, with only one repeated image – that being large glass gems. These gems appeared in two of the three cabinets, appearing to be a way of unifying the space, but with no clear meaning ascribed to them, this unification seemed rather forced.

In Parting Glass found itself somewhere between incoherence and over-simplicity, the problem being an attempt to explore too many complex ideas. The artists’ over-eagerness to explore a multitude of ideas within one work left Taylor and Buscarini’s exhibition feeling unfinished and lacking impact.

Image: ‘In Parting Glass’ by Riccardo Buscarini & Richard Taylor

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