Glasgow International
              Rosanna Mclaughlin
              On my way to Tramway in Glasgow’s Southside I spot the artist Jenkin van Zyl walking past the McDonald’s on Pollokshaws Road. I know it’s van Zyl because I watched an online video about his make-up routine. He’s wearing prosthetic horns, hooks for hands, and nothing much on the bottom half, except for some strapping that reveals pretty much the whole of his arse. Van Zyl’s film Machines of Love (2020–21), showing at Tramway as part of Glasgow’s biennial arts festival, unfolds like a World of Warhammer cosplay fantasy with heavy shades of Paul McCarthy, in which a group of orc-like people with rat teeth and squashed noses conduct squalid sex games in an underground lair. The prosthetics are impressive, yet while van Zyl has understood the look, after 40 minutes of writhing around it’s less clear what he wants to say with it: a problem endemic in a culture that specializes in polishing and grafting pre-existing aesthetics. The theme for this year’s festival is “attention.” During an era in which convoluted curatorial agendas have become de rigueur, director Richard Parry has opted for the opposite approach, picking one so open that you’d be hard pressed to find an artwork to …
              Glasgow International
              Kirsty Bell
              That only 6 of the 75 locations numbered on Glasgow International’s essential city map are host to the “Director’s Programme” says something of the generous weave of the “official” and the “collateral” here, doing away with the two-tiered hierarchies usual in such events. Instead, a loose net is cast around existing public institutions, non-profit spaces in studio complexes, artist-run galleries, and commercial venues, with the odd special location thrown in. Though touted by the City Council as proof of Glasgow’s status as a “global leader in contemporary art,” director Sarah McCrory states that G.I.’s aim is rather to “highlight and support the activity that takes place throughout the year,” and to “focus on the important Glasgow-based artistic community.” The center of gravity for this artistic community remains the Glasgow School of Art, so it was fitting that Thursday night’s opening party was held there, in the dark upstairs bar commandeered for the night by Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and the performance troupe MEGA HAMMER. Their endlessly morphing performance at times took to the stage but was more often ensconced amongst the audience members. A leotarded woman lying prostrate on her back gently prodded viewers with her two-meter-long pink prosthetic leg; cross-dressed waiters …

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