Artnews Projects

And So It Goes

08 - 30 Aug 2008

Invite: Tomoko Seino, ‘Input & Output’, 2008
Artnews Projects

And So It Goes is an exhibition of work by recent graduates from The Glasgow School of Art’s internationally renowned Master of Fine Art (MFA) programme.

8 - 30 August 2008
Opening reception: Friday, 8 August 2008, 7-10 pm

Exhibiting Artists:Jung Ki Beak (Korea), Mark Briggs (UK), Soo Jung Choi (Korea), Michael Coppelov (UK), Helen de Main (UK), Carla Scott Fullerton (UK), Salomeh Grace (USA), Levi Hanes (USA), Ragnar Jonasson (Iceland), Heike Kabisch (Germany), Sang Bin Kang (Korea), Conor Kelly (Ireland), Mian Tze Kng (Singapore), Mairi Lafferty (UK), Niall MacDonald (UK), Nina Nordbo (Norway), Rallou Panagiotou (Greece), Jennipher Satterly (USA), Tomoko Seino (Japan), Kari Stewart (USA), Atsushi Tawa (Japan), Emmett Walsh (UK).

Curated by John Calcutt and Graham Ramsay (MFA, Glasgow School of Art).

Over the past two years the twenty-two artists in And So It Goes have worked alongside each other on the Glasgow School of Art Master of Fine Art programme to develop their artistic practices, a process which has sparked dialogues, forged friendships and built the sense of community which makes this postgraduate programme so special. Writer and curator Francis McKee has called this critically acclaimed MFA programme ‘a mental free state or republic of ideas’ . And So It Goes gives us a glimpse into this unique space.

The GSA MFA Programme is now entering its twentieth year. There have been many changes throughout this period, but some things remain more or less constant. Here’s a thought. After years of wear and tear, all the original timbers of the Argos, the vessel which carried Jason and his crew from adventure to adventure, had been replaced. This prompts a philosophical speculation: was the final Argos still the ‘real’ Argos, despite having none of its original timbers? And so it is with the MFA. Students come and students go, but the MFA remains. And yet these transitory students are the MFA. Without them it is simply an empty concept, an unrealised possibility. When a group of young artists from around the world comes together for two years on the Programme they realise the MFA’s possibilities. Each realisation is different, and thus the MFA is constantly reinvented by the students, whilst somehow remaining... the MFA.

And So It Goes is where we witness some of the results of this reinvention. For the duration of the exhibition these works will be this year’s newly invented MFA, newly invented for Berlin. As soon as the exhibition is dismantled, however, the MFA will have to wait for another year to find out what it will be. This is, to an extent, what gives this exhibition its extraordinary vitality. It is the MFA, yet it is no longer the MFA (these artists are now graduates). It is bursting with energy, champing at the bit, eager to say its fond farewells and move on to new horizons. Less a point of arrival, And So It Goes is more a junction: a temporary meeting point where paths cross for one last time before each moves off in its own new direction.

For this exhibition the curators have selected an array of photography, sound work, sculpture, video, and painting, pointing to the MFA's multi-disciplinary outlook and offering an introduction to each individual artist’s wider practice. The work we see here may be an end, a seed or a turning point and it makes for a fascinating journey which illustrates the diversity and quality of work produced by the School’s most recent Masters graduates.

Glasgow, like Berlin, is a production city. A magnet for creative practitioners from around the world, it has that critical density of artists which enables a genuinely layered and diverse community to evolve. The vibrant artist-led culture is now complemented by a rapidly growing commercial gallery sector which has emerged from these grassroots spaces. The MFA programme is firmly plugged into this creative landscape, nourishing the community with new blood and enhancing the city’s international flavour. Indeed, many of these DIY ventures have been founded by the alumni of The GSA while a large number of previous students are represented by prestigious galleries such as The Modern Institute, Sorcha Dallas and Mary Mary.

Underlying it all is what MFA Acting Programme Leader and exhibition curator John Calcutt calls a spirit of generosity:

'There are rivalries and differences, sure, but ultimately everyone is in this together, and if one person happens upon success, then there is a sense that this is potentially good for everyone else.'

And indeed there have been successes. The international reputation of MFA graduates like Turner Prize winner Simon Starling and Beck's Futures winner Rosalind Nashashibi ensures that although changes and evolutions are inevitable, the momentum shows no sign of abating. In 2005 energies were further galvanised by the launch of Glasgow International, a new festival of contemporary art. This unique platform reflects the true ethos of the city by drawing together all the key organisations from across the spectrum of Glasgow’s art scene to create an event that is simultaneously rooted in the local while having international scope and relevance.

It is fitting then that this exhibition, which takes place in a different international venue each year, should come to Berlin and in particular Artnews Projects on Brunnenstrasse. Nestled amongst the art-led and commercial spaces in a city with a strong international aspect, this space, with its remit to ‘bring people closer’ feels like a spiritual home for the MFA programme. And so it goes.

Artnews Projects
Brunnenstr. 190
D-10119 Berlin
Tel: +49-30-27907810

Tags: Carla Scott Fullerton, Levi Hanes, Heike Kabisch, Conor Kelly, Niall Macdonald, Rosalind Nashashibi, Rallou Panagiotou, Simon Starling