Tales of the City

'Roni Horn, 'This is me, this is you' (1998/2000) detail from installation of 12 photographs. ©Roni Horn, courtesy Hauser & Wirth, Zürich & London. Presented by the Art Fund under Art Fund International

Across a two-year period beginning from 1998, Roni Horn took photographs of her niece Georgia, that are on show in an installation at the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in Glasgow. A set of prints are placed on one side of a wall, seeming to trace a path of growth as Georgia adopts a different hairstyle, posture, and way of expressing herself to the camera. Another set of prints hanging on the facing wall seems to present duplicate images, with almost imperceptible differences that are revealed on closer look. At each occasion that Horn recorded Georgia’s actions, two consecutive photographs at intervals of a few moments would be taken, giving rise to a series of seemingly double prints. While This is me, this is you documents a specific point of a young girl’s development in a spontaneous and personal manner, the series of prints provoke thought on the way our identities shift not just within the passage of two years, but also within seconds, as expressions we try on and grow into.

These fluctuations and representations that revolve around individuals and spaces in history, seem to be one of the themes emerging from Tales of the City, an exhibition now on view at GoMA that seeks to bring together artworks interpreted as responses to man-made urban spaces, from documenting changes in the city to re-imagining them, and features artworks by artists including Martin Boyce, Boyle Family, Emily Jacir, Toby Paterson and Corin Sworn.

Fiona Tan, 'Disorient' (still) (2009). Copyright the artist. Courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London

Fiona Tan’s Disorient occupies the ground floor gallery, the same space where another video work she made, Tomorrow (2005) was presented two years ago.  A two-screen installation, one screen pans slowly across a recreated depot, with the camera moving to reveal a curious assortment of objects from Asia, and a voiceover reading from the tales of Marco Polo. The facing screen pieces together commentary and footages extracted from modern-day documentaries of countries in Asia. Commissioned for the Dutch Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, Disorient draws on the cultural history of Venice and questions the nature and reception of text and visual representations of Asia across centuries to the present.

Hans-Peter Feldmann, Handprint Poster. Copyright and courtesy Hans-Peter Feldmann / Galerie Mehdi Chouakri. Photo: Jan Windszus

Handprints of well-known artists and poets in the twentieth century comprise ten posters by Hans-Peter Feldmann. These handprints were found in the notebook of psychologist Charlotte Wolff who examined the diagnostic significance of the hand and captured the handprints of famous personalities, many of whom were involved in the Surrealist movement, including Marcel Duchamp, Alberto Giacometti, André Breton and Aldous Huxley. By scanning and enlarging these handprints, Feldmann offers a way of considering the aesthetic qualities from the curves and textures of each print, and an avenue of reading and interpreting the minds of these personalities.