The Culture24 top ten museum and gallery exhibitions from Edinburgh Art Festival 2013

By Ben Miller | 05 August 2013

Edinburgh Art Festival 2013: Culture24 picks ten to look out for in the Scottish capital...

A photo of a fashion photo showing bathers inside a communal shower
Deborah Turbeville, American Vogue, May 1975. From Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast at the City Art Centre© 1975 Condé Nast
The Complaints Choir: The Complaints Choir of Edinburgh, 169 Rose Street, until September 1

A problem shared is a problem sung for Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta Kalleinen, a Finnish pair who have persuaded urbanites to form choirs of complaint in cities the world over. Two composers, Daniel Padden and Peter Nicholson, have worked with would-be warblers for the Edinburgh episode, accompanied by a four-channel video installation of their international predecessors.

Scottishness in Art: 1750-1980, Bourne Fine Art, until August 31

Small but beautiful, this show of ten works contextualises romanticism, rationalism and realism as competing fields for 220 years. The opening work, William Hamilton’s 18th century portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots, combines drama with timeliness in light of the National Museum’s nearby show. Other artists portraying the Scottish character include Sir David Wilkie, Alexander Nasmyth and members of the Glasgow Boys.

Ana Maria Pacheco: Memória Roubada, St Albert's Catholic Chaplaincy, until August 30

Nodding to her native Brazil’s military past and differing religious traditions (she was born to Catholic and Protestant parents), Maria Pacheco’s sculptures form two wooden cupboards thronged with heads – the first set anguished and flushed, the opposing busts pale and motionless. The title of the former National Gallery artist-in-residence’s show translates as “stolen memories”.

Gregor Schneider: Süßer Duft Edinburgh 2013 (Sweet Scent Edinburgh 2013); Fiona Banner: The Vanity Press, Summerhall, until August 31 (Fiona Banner September 27)

Having created an ominous basement of light and dark rooms and corridors, Schneider warns of a controversial statement on racism and slavery in an installation for over-18s with some nudity. Banner brings a different kind of disrobing: Mirror, made with actress Samantha Morton, is described as a verbal striptease. Chinook, meanwhile, features a helicopter swooping to balletic effect.

Man Ray Portraits, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, until September 22

Originally opened to a mixed reception as a major National Portrait Gallery exhibition earlier this year, the first thorough museum retrospective of the great solariser includes numerous portraits of his muse, Lee Miller, as well as visions of Picasso and Dali.

From Death to Death and Other Small Tales: Masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the D.Daskalopoulos Collection, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, until September 8

Another at-times risqué show, this body of 130 influential works includes many never publically seen before. Marcel Duchamp, Louise Bourgeois, Sarah Lucas and Joseph Beuys are a few of the originators.

Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast, City Art Centre, until September 8

Fashion photography may be ubiquitous and all-pervasive now, but we might not know much about its beginnings without the Condé Nast archives in New York, Paris, London and Milan. Cecil Beaton – the man who may have taken the first fashion snap – begins a lineage charted by original prints and plenty of glossy magazine pages. Read our Review.

Jeremy Deller with Alan Kane, Jupiter Artland, until September 15

The industrial and technological revolutions may never be united as charmingly as they are by Deller’s Steam Powered Internet Machine. In another important invention devised with long-term collaborator Kane, the UK’s Venice Biennale rep has even made a tea urn and teapot for the gallery’s café.

Paul Rooney and Leeds United, Edinburgh College of Art, until September 1

Less a volatile football club, more a Yorkshire art collective operating under various pseudonyms, Leeds United’s work with the former Northern Art Prize winner includes a spooky film on rhubarb sheds and a documentary in which the Loch Ness monster almost ends up in the Museum of Modern Art.

Transmitted Live: Nam June Paik Resounds, Talbot Rice Gallery, until October 19

Placing the pioneer of televisual art in the city which spawned electromagnetic theory and television project, Talbot Rice draws together many of the counter-cultural rebel’s ideas together on the 50th anniversary of his first solo exhibition. Prepare for waves of light and kinetic encounters.

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