Collective is committed to supporting new visual art through a programme of exhibitions, projects and commissions.
Originally established as an artist run organisation in 1984, Collective is an international organisation for the production, research, presentation and distribution of contemporary art and culture with a specific focus on new visual art and practices. We aim to foster, support and debate new work and practices in a way which is of mutual benefit to artists and audiences.
We believe that visual art can provide experiences that change the way we look at our world and understand ourselves within it. Collective is a space where people can come to witness, to be challenged, to learn, to experience; a space where adventure is celebrated.
Tuesday to Sunday
October – March, 10am—4pm
April – September, 10am—5pm
Monday to Sunday, 10am—6pm
Thomas Aitchison: Drag a file Here
- 25 April — 14 June 2015 *on now
Thomas Aitchison has developed a new series of paintings and an installation titled Drag a File Here, as part of Satellites Programme 2015. The small-scale, delicately painted works stem from a host of imagery including landscapes, food and corporate insignia. Employing a filter-like effect to the images and painting on dustsheets dotted with marks from previous use, Thomas explores the frictions between ground and image, systematic and accidental mark making. Using materials and tools that commonly support but are edited out of exhibition design Drag a File Here brings the process and materiality of the ‘backstage’ to the fore.
Slavs and Tatars: Lektor
- 25 April — 12 July 2015 *on now
Lektor, by art collective Slavs and Tatars, is part of a new body of work that explores Mirror for Princes – a medieval form of advice literature intended for future rulers, that gave advice pertaining to good leadership on subjects such as grooming, speech, education and belief. The artists locate contemporary parallels to these texts in relation to spin doctoring and society’s interest in self-help books, such as How to Marry a Millionaire and How to Lose 15kgs in 15 Days.
The exhibition centres on a multi-channel audio installation, featuring excerpts from an influential 11th century Turkic Mirror for Princes, Kutadgu Bilig (Wisdom of Royal Glory). The original Uighur text, which offers advice on the power and pitfalls of the tongue, is played alongside translations into Turkish, German, Polish, Arabic and Scottish Gaelic. Drawing on the ‘Gavrilov’ voice-over technique, the work creates a disruptive experience, touching on issues of legibility and authenticity. Slavs and Tatars’ multi-disciplinary practice encompassing research, installation, lecture-performances and print media is often focussed on language and its conditions of translation, enactment and resonance.
- 10 July — 30 August 2015
France-Lise McGurn’s practice takes the form of line drawing, painting, installation, sculpture, video and sound, derived from a non-indexical archive centred on the portrayal of women, the sobriety of intellect and juvenile delinquency. This informal catalogue includes book covers such as Hal Ellson’s Tomboy from 1960, club flyers, recordings of castrato voices, and drawings by Vaslav Nijinsky. Informed by this archive, McGurn’s works become sites for thinking through gender, femininity and the performance of identity. Her objects and surfaces, often depicting a cast of rebel characters, explore the potential connotations of gender and sexuality in the written word, letter or drawn line.
McGurn’s exhibition at Collective draws on research relating to Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s Epidemics of the Will (1991), and Soap (1967) by French writer and poet Francis Ponge. These two sources will be used to generate an immersive installation incorporating sound, video and drawn works. The translation between forms and ideas in the exhibition space moves between notation, motif and graphology, and tensions between will, freedom and compulsion.
- 30 July — 4 October 2015
Taking American author William Gaddis' epic modernist masterpiece, JR (1975) as its departure point, Crippled Symmetries is a new film by artist Beatrice Gibson. An eerily prescient, biting social satire that turns the American dream on its head, JR tells the story of a precocious 11 year-old capitalist who inadvertently creates the single greatest financial empire the decade has seen, spun largely from the invisible confines of the school pay phone. Using the novel as a score for its production, and orientated around an experimental music workshop for kids, the film also draws on the work of radical educators and composers Brian Dennis and John Payner, who infamously took the work of Cornelius Cardew, John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen into primary and secondary schools and were at the forefront of radical post-war utopian shifts towards child-centred pedagogy.
City Observatory & City Dome
38 Calton Hill
0131 556 1264