Wednesday, 27 August 2008

What a dismal summer we have been experiencing: intermittent rain, grey skies and hardly the warmest of weather. I had one customer this morning tell me that he'd already been searching for UV light-globes on the internet. But let's not get too depressed about it just yet... I prefer to think of it as being the perfect 'art gallery' weather. So rug up and head out to explore the aftermath of exactly what Edinburgh's 2008 Art Festival has had to offer.
Two exhibitions that simply cannot be missed this year are Tracey Emin at The National Gallery of Modern Art (until the 9th of November) and Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller at the Fruitmarket Gallery (until September 28th).
Emin's reputation precedes her and this, her first solo retrospective, doesn't disappoint. 20 years of frankly autobiographical and astonishingly honest works are on display here, and, a word of warning, they are not for the faint-hearted . The exhibition is as comprehensive as it is candid, and a refreshing change from gallery's permanent collection that adorns the walls for the rest of the year.
Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller present us with a show that is equally as fascinating. Combining images, sound and music in architectural and sculptural environments, Cardiff and Miller create imaginary and dream-like worlds that the viewer can literally transplant themselves in. Climb inside a house constructed entirely of old books; lose yourself in the music of an eerie opera in a small room; and fossick through the old books, abandoned furniture, empty dishes, miniture models and whispering speakers that piece together the story of 'The Dark Room'.

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