for advanced listening
Simon Yuill is a Glasgow-based artist whose work focuses around forms of social enquiry, involving processes of interview, discussion and documentation, sometimes working alongside specific groups and communities, sometimes working independently. The works employ a variety of media, including sound, film, internet, software and print publications, and are often created as resources for others to make use of. Some present their material in the form of archives or collections that enable audiences to re-engage with that process of enquiry, proposing different readings and interpretations. Others are created as spaces and frameworks in which people may develop their own practices or support explorations of different social processes. This exhibition brings together three projects that, in different ways, address the relationship between people's ability to make use of space, either through occupancy or mobility, and the relationship of these to legal processes, such as the ability to form self-defined social groupings that have some form of 'political' power. 'Politics' here is meant in the most basic sense of an ability to effect or resist change at a social and material level, and to legitimise or contest authority. In realising their spatial agency (finding somewhere to live, to work, to support oneself) people are both shaped by law and, in turn, may also be compelled to challenge or shape that law themselves.
Stackwalker (to breathe the air of heaven)
A parallel study using film and audio interviews of crofting communities in the West of Scotland and migrant workers in fishing and food production in the North East of Scotland. The project reflects upon processes of archiving and documentation, in terms of historical and legal practices, as well as forms of communal organisation that have developed in the two communities. Whilst seemingly unrelated, deeper connections and parallels emerge. The project features specially composed music by singer Hanna Tuulikki, and was funded by a Scottish Arts Council Creative Scotland Award (2007).
New Commons - Field Reports
Developed from a project based in three large housing estates built around old commons land in Bournemouth. In many cases there are strong continuities between the older structures and communities of the commons and the contemporary housing - one area being a long-standing Romany Gypsy settlement. It explores the relation between land and housing as common resources. Originally commissioned by SCAN: www.scansite.org
Pollok Free State
The Pollok Free State began as a protest camp created to protect an area of local woodland in Glasgow from the building of M77 motorway in the 1990s. Over time it grew into a substantial community bringing working class housing and environmental issues together. This presents some of the original unedited video footage from the camp shot by members of the Pollok Free State and local residents. This material formed the basis of the artist's own film, Given To The People, to be shown as part of the film events. It is accompanied by a website making available a collection of photographs, pamphlets, letters and press cuttings donated by those involved and full versions of interviews with members of the campaign recorded by Yuill.