Glasgow After the Fire: What Has Been the Impact on the Wider Arts Community? – 火灾后的格拉斯哥:对更广泛的艺术界有什么影响?

City Report - 17 Jul 2018

Glasgow After the Fire: What Has Been the Impact on the Wider Arts Community?

Cancelled events and financial woes have left neighbours such as CCA and its cultural tenants in a state of limbo

By Chris Sharratt

As the brick-by-brick dismantling of Glasgow School of Art’s Grade A listed Mackintosh building slowly progresses following the devastating fire of 15 June, the extent of the work that lies ahead becomes ever clearer. Much of the initial focus of the incident has understandably been on the building itself and its architectural and cultural significance to the city. Yet as time passes and the safety cordon around it remains in place, the immediate, day-to-day impact on the Garnethill area of Glasgow is becoming an increasing concern. Local residents remain locked out of their homes and many businesses on nearby Sauchiehall Street, where the fire-damaged 02 ABC gig venue is based, are closed due to fears of falling masonry from the gutted Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed art school. The work to make the structure safe before rebuilding can begin is expected to go on throughout July and into August – a pin prick of time when compared with the mammoth reconstruction task that lies ahead, but an eternity for many of those small businesses affected.


Glasgow After the Fire: What Has Been the Impact on the Wider Arts Community? - 火灾后的格拉斯哥:对更广泛的艺术界有什么影响?

Centre for Contemporary Arts, Sauchiehall Street entrance, Glasgow. Courtesy: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow; photograph: Alan Dimmick

A long time, too, for another Grade A listed building vital to the city’s cultural life which occupies the next block west from Glasgow School of Art. The Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), based in the Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson-designed Grecian Chambers (originally completed 1865), has been closed to both the public and staff since the night of the fire – the same night as the private view for its current main exhibition, ‘The Scottish-European Parliament’ by the Dutch artist Jonas Staal. Stuck in a ghostly state of limbo, the show can neither be viewed or deinstalled. Instead, like the rest of this multipurpose venue with its small cinema, theatre, residency spaces, meeting rooms, café, bar, book and design shop, it is gathering dust as days turn to weeks and now months

With no agreed reopening date (the beginning of September at the earliest) and around 127 staff – 45 from CCA alone – displaced from the 18 organizations based in building, these are worrying times for the venue. However,  director Francis McKee is keen to dismiss any talk of a crisis. ‘Crisis isn’t a useful word, it’s a very dramatic, hysterical word,’ he says over coffee in his temporary ‘office’ – a corner of Tinderbox café in Charing Cross, a short walk west from the CCA building. ‘It’s all about how we get this back up and running – we need to start making plans now for when we get back in, for how we service the people who we aren’t able to give a space to right now.’ 


Glasgow After the Fire: What Has Been the Impact on the Wider Arts Community? - 火灾后的格拉斯哥:对更广泛的艺术界有什么影响?

'The Sky is Falling', 2017, installation view, CCA, Glasgow. Courtesy: CCA, Glasgow; photograph: Alan Dimmick

It’s this idea of being a provider of space, a facilitator for arts and culture in Glasgow, that has come to define CCA’s role in the city. Since becoming director 12 years ago, McKee – who has taught on the Glasgow School of Art MFA for more than two decades – has implemented an ‘open source’ approach, built around a core exhibition programme curated by the organization. Working with around 250 partner organizations and individuals, space for public events is provided free of charge, the idea being that the busier and more diverse the programme is, the greater the benefit to artists and audiences and the more sustainable CCA itself becomes. It’s been a huge success. When McKee became director, the organization was near to financial collapse and the building was underused. It now hosts around 1,200 events and 26 festivals a year, including Glasgow Film Festival, the international human rights documentary festival, Document, and the Scottish Queer International Film Festival. Last year, according to its own figures, the building attracted nearly 350,000 visitors.

As such, CCA increasingly feels like the city’s key cultural hub for contemporary art, music and experimental film – particularly in light of the 2015 closure of club, performance and gig venue The Arches and the ongoing challenges facing the contemporary art scene, from the recent defunding of Transmission by Creative Scotland to the halting of Glasgow Sculpture Studio’s exhibition programme at the end of 2016. Yet the success of the CCA model inevitably means that the current closure has a much bigger impact than it might at first seem. ‘There are 115 events we’ve cancelled up to the end of August, a massive amount of things,’ explains McKee. ‘You’re ripping out a huge section of the city’s cultural infrastructure. It’s a collective enterprise – our core programme we can rearrange, but because we provide the space for free a lot of these partner events can’t just be moved somewhere else.’ 


Glasgow After the Fire: What Has Been the Impact on the Wider Arts Community? - 火灾后的格拉斯哥:对更广泛的艺术界有什么影响?

Romany Dear ‘Dancing in a circle is a reminder that we are part of the whole’ exhibition opening, 2015, CCA, Glasgow. Courtesy: CCA, Glasgow; photograph: Alan Dimmick 

CCA is a Creative Scotland RFO (regularly funded organization) and McKee stresses that the much-criticised arts funding body has been ‘immediately supportive’, understanding the wider impact of the closure ‘because they fund many of the people who put on events at CCA.’ It’s an example of how interconnected Glasgow’s arts scene is, but also how precarious and fragile. While a number of events have found new homes and other arts organizations have offered help – The Pipe Factory in the city’s east end, for example, is hosting Sogol Mabadi and Emma Helen Reid’s ‘Encounter no.1’, part of CCA’s Intermedia gallery programme – some creative businesses are already struggling to stay afloat. Based in the building’s foyer, both the independent book shop Aye-Aye Books and the design/craft outlet Welcome Home have launched Go Fund Me pages in an effort to plug the financial gap. The ‘inclusive music and arts organization’ Paragon – one of CCA’s 14 ‘cultural tenants’ who rent office space at below market rates – has done the same due to the cancellation of its annual June fundraising event. Other tenants who have been displaced by the building’s closure include LUX Scotland, Scottish Writers’ Centre and the multi-media art producers Cryptic. 

‘It’s not about CCA as a small organization doing visual art,’ stresses McKee. ‘It’s about the building as a utility for everybody.’ When the building will once again be a cultural utility for the city is of course dependent on the progress made with the Mackintosh building – the rebuilding of which was recently promised by director Tom Inns – and the decisions of Glasgow City Council’s Building Standards department regarding the safety cordon and access to premises. McKee meanwhile is unequivocal in his desire to see the art school rebuilt and, most importantly, used as it was originally intended. ‘I’m for build it, use it, trash it,’ he says. ‘It’s a beautiful building, but the real gift that Mackintosh gave was that it’s a beautiful building that artists can work in and be inspired to make new things. That’s the function of the building and the function of CCA - the production of new art.’

Main image: Interor of CCA, Glasgow. Photograph: Neil Thomas Douglas

Chris Sharratt

Chris Sharratt is a freelance writer and editor based in Glasgow. 

Creative Scotland
Glasgow School of Art
Lux Scotland
Chris Sharratt

城市报告- 17六月2018火灾后格拉斯哥:对更广泛的艺术界有什么影响?被取消的事件和财务困境使得CCA及其文化租户等邻国陷入了Chris Sharratt的边缘状态,格拉斯哥艺术学院A级上市的麦金托什建筑正在慢慢瓦解。在6月15日的毁灭性大火中,前方的工作范围变得越来越清晰。该事件最初的大部分焦点都是关于建筑本身及其对城市的建筑和文化意义。然而,随着时间的流逝,它周围的安全警戒线依然存在,对格拉斯哥Garnethill地区的直接、日常影响正日益受到关注。当地居民仍然被锁在他们的家里,附近的苏哈尔街上的许多企业,在那里被烧毁了02个ABC GIG场地,由于担心从被烧毁的麦金托什设计的艺术学校落下砖石而关闭。在重建之前,使结构安全的工作预计将在整个七月和8月进行,这是一个时间戳,与之前的猛犸重建任务相比,但许多小企业的影响是永恒的。LangycCasy-SaaHyalHalthStueltIdAuto.SytoCopyHythByAlalnDimmik.JPG Glasgow After the Fire: What Has Been the Impact on the Wider Arts Community? - 火灾后的格拉斯哥:对更广泛的艺术界有什么影响?当代艺术中心,Saajural街入口,格拉斯哥。礼貌:当代艺术中心,格拉斯哥;照片:Alan Dimmick也很长时间,为另一个A级的建筑至关重要的城市文化生活,占据下一个街区西格拉斯哥艺术学院。当代艺术中心(CCA)以亚力山大的希腊“汤姆森设计的Grecian Chambers”(最初完成1865)为基础,自火灾之夜以来,一直被公众和员工关闭。荷兰议会的荷兰艺术家Jonas Staal。在一个幽灵般的幽灵状态下,这个节目既不能被观看也不能被拆除。取而代之的是,像这个小电影院、剧院、住宅区、会议室、咖啡厅、酒吧、书本和设计商店等多用途场所的其余部分一样,它聚集起来的日子是几天到几周,现在是几个月,没有约定的重新开放日期(最早九月初)和大约127天。AFC - 45从CCA单独-从18个组织转移的基础上建设,这是令人担忧的时间为场地。然而,导演Francis McKee热衷于驳斥任何关于危机的言论。“危机不是一个有用的词,它是一个非常戏剧化、歇斯底里的词,”他在他的临时办公室“咖啡”上说,这是Chan-RangsTimebox咖啡馆的一个角落,是CCA大楼西侧的一小段路程。“这一切都是关于我们如何重新开始和运行我们现在需要开始制定计划,当我们回来的时候,我们如何为那些我们现在无法给予空间的人服务。”IMG的“天空正在下降”,2017,安装视图,CCA,格拉斯哥。礼貌:CCA,格拉斯哥;照片:Alan Dimmick,这是一个空间提供者,是格拉斯哥艺术和文化的推动者,它定义了CCA在城市中的角色。自从12年前成为导演以来,McKee曾在格拉斯哥艺术学院MFA教了20多年的书,他实施了一个“开源”的方法,围绕着由组织领导的一个核心展览项目。与大约250个合作组织和个人合作,免费提供公共活动空间,这一想法是,越忙越多样化的节目,对艺术家和观众的好处越大,CCA本身就越可持续。这是一个巨大的成功。当McKee成为董事时,该组织濒临金融崩溃,大楼被闲置。它每年举办1200个活动和26个节日,包括格拉斯哥电影节、国际人权纪录片节、文件和苏格兰酷儿国际电影节。去年,根据自己的数据,这座建筑吸引了近350000游客。因此,CCA越来越像这个城市的当代艺术、音乐和实验电影的关键文化中心——尤其是从2015个俱乐部关闭、演出和演出场地、拱门以及当代艺术场景所面临的持续挑战中,从最近的退款开始。2016年底,由创意苏格兰传递到格拉斯哥雕塑工作室展览计划暂停。然而,CCA模型的成功必然意味着当前的关闭比最初看起来的影响要大得多。McKee解释说,截止到8月底,我们已经取消了115件大事。“你正在摧毁城市文化基础设施的一大部分。这是一个集体企业——我们的核心项目我们可以重新安排,但因为我们提供了免费的空间,许多合作伙伴事件不能仅仅被转移到其他地方。亲爱的罗马人,“圈里跳舞”提醒我们,我们是整个展览开幕式的一部分,2015,CCA,格拉斯哥。礼貌:CCA,格拉斯哥;照片:艾伦Dimmik CCA是一个富有创意的苏格兰RFO(定期资助组织),McKee强调,备受批评的艺术资助机构一直在“立即支持”,了解关闭的更广泛影响,因为他们的基金。许多在CCA举办活动的人都说:“这是格拉斯哥艺术界相互联系的一个例子,但也有不稳定和脆弱的一面。虽然一些事件已经找到新的家园和其他艺术组织提供了帮助-例如,在城市的东端的管道工厂,是托管Sogol Mabadi和Emma Helen Reid的“邂逅1号”,CCA的中间媒体画廊计划的一部分-一些创意企业ARE已经努力保持漂浮。基于大厦的门厅,独立书店YAYAE书籍和设计/工艺出口欢迎回家推出了GO基金网页,努力填补财政缺口。“包容性音乐和艺术组织”的典范——CCA的14个文化租户之一,以低于市场的价格租用办公空间。由于每年六月的筹款活动取消,他们也做了同样的事情。其他被建筑关闭的租户包括力士苏格兰、苏格兰作家中心和多媒体艺术制作人神秘。“这不是关于CCA作为一个小型的视觉艺术组织,”McKee强调。“这是一个对每个人都有用的建筑。”当建筑物再次成为城市的文化效用时,当然依赖于麦金托什建筑的进步——这是最近由汤姆-恩斯公司局长许诺的重建。格拉斯哥市议会的建筑标准部门关于安全警戒线和房屋的进入。同时,麦基在他希望看到艺术学校重建的过程中毫不含糊,而且最重要的是,它是原意使用的。他说:“我要建造它,使用它,把它扔掉。”“这是一座漂亮的建筑,但麦金托什赋予的真正礼物是,它是一个美丽的建筑,艺术家可以工作并受到启发去创造新的东西。这就是建筑的功能和CCA的作用——新艺术的产生。“主图像:CCA,格拉斯哥的互动。照片:尼尔·托马斯·道格拉斯·克里斯·沙拉特·克里斯·沙拉特是格拉斯哥自由撰稿人兼编辑。阿斯哥创意苏格兰格拉斯哥艺术学院力士苏格兰Chris Sharratt


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