GSA Pecha Kucha VII

On Wednesday night, I went to the GSA Pecha Kucha VII.  Craig and Marina had told me such good things about the recent similar night that Creative Dundee had held and I was gutted to have missed it, so jumped at the chance when I saw the Glasgow event.  They held it in the students union of the art school and the place was absolutely rammed.  For those who haven’t read Craig’s review of the Dundee night, or are unfamiliar with the concept, Pecha Kucha literally means “chit-chat” in Japanese.  The evening consists of a group of artists taking to the stage to show twenty slides each, allowing twenty seconds per slide to talk about their work.  I won’t trawl through the evening artist by artist, but I will talk about two in particular I really liked.

Pecha Kucha VII poster

Philip Gurrey’s was the first of the chats that I scribbled like mad taking notes!  His work focused on the temporary nature of paintings, and ones that were not made to last.  For example, a selection of etchings he showed us were all the same image (which by the way was a simple rectangle with a score through it) but using various applications of ink.  He tried to get across that the images themselves meant nothing, but it was his greater understanding of the plate that was the real work.  He commented on how people were so obsessed with documenting what they see that they never really take the time to feel the work behind it.  One piece he made for an exhibition was made in the gallery, and then he removed the work itself for the show, leaving behind the evidence of what it means to make work, rather than actually showing a painting itself.  I thought it was a really interesting concept, and was impressed he really managed to get across what he was doing in the short time he had to tell us about it!  Did anyones else brain melt right then?

Another favourite was Michael Mersinis.  Couldn’t help but think of my interdisciplinary class when he talked about how research can be such a tricky thing but it can take you places you didn’t think was possible.  The work he showed was based on his fascination with the Culloden Moors and not knowing where the project was going to take him or what he would photograph, but visiting the moors and finding out the exact circumstances of the battle would be very important.  During his research he was given the opportunity to walk the three miles to the moors as the Jacobites had done in the pitch black on their way into battle.  He spent the whole way looking at the ground.  It is this ground that makes up the body of his photographs, as he tries to convey the feeling of these men as they walked into a battle outnumbered by 500 to 1.  His talk was really more of a valuable lesson for me in how he came about his concept, and something I hope I will remember in future for my own work.

Photograph of Pecha Kucha VII  Photograph of Pecha Kucha VII

Thanks to Neil McGuire for these photographs of the night, despite these being a bit shaky (it was bloody dark!) you get the idea. Had such a good evening, every speaker was so interesting to listen to and the night flew in.  Glasgow and Dundee are both hosting further Pecha Kucha nights in February 2012 and I highly recommend you seek them out if you fancy an alternative and informative evening.

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