Rick Kasini Kadour : Schwitters’ Army at MERZ

Ric Kasini Kadour was artist in residence at MERZ during January and February 2020. This interview outlines his Schwitters’ Army project involving 200 collages from 24 countries. The interview reveals several similarities between MERZ and Ric’s work in Canada and the US, not least in pursuing the narratives of art while establishing local and international connections between artists across cultures. @kasini and @kolajmagazine

Julia Zinnbauer : Peter Womersley Architect

During her extended residency at MERZ Julia Zinnbauer researched, filmed and edited a film on the Scottish Borders’ based architect Peter Womersley. Julia’s earlier films had connected modernist architecture in the United States with the James Bond movies and had reimagined the elegance of their female stars appearing in these settings. In her thirty minute film Julia also engages the work of textile designer Bernat Klein. Klein had commissioned Womersley to build his house near Selkirk with its iconic studio. Although only completed in the early 1970s, the studio is now in a very poor state of repair. MERZ hopes that Julia’s film will help promote efforts to return this extremely important and neglected building to restoration and beneficial local use.

WORLD COLLAGE DAY, 9th May

Coming soon for World Collage Day the 200 or so envelopes in which the Schwitters’ Army collages arrived at MERZ in January. Collages by named artists inside and sometimes on the outside of the envelopes and packages. While at each stage of their journey the envelopes were stamped and labelled, providing anonymous collages of their journey to MERZ in Sanquhar. The Envelope Exhibition was intended to be a celebration of the local Post Office, the oldest in the world, but now reminds us generally of the trail of unknown contacts that left their mark linking collage artists from around the.

Ally Wallace : Factory Lines

Ally Wallace was our second Funded Artist in Residence at MERZ, staying from September to November in 2019. In this film Ally outlines the influence of local buildings and textile industries on his research, his approach to working and the final exhibition in the Gallery. The MERZ residencies and this recording are supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

Jason Maraconi : Tactile Shapes

Artist in Residence at MERZ from mid-June till mid July Jason Maracani has been exploring the countryside in Upper Nithsdale with artist and guide Alice de Ville. Jason joined Alice to contribute work on a Bothy on the Southern Upland Way. Interpreting the local landscape Jason’s Tactile Shapes exhibition opens at MERZ on 12th July at 6:00pm. To visit contact merzgallery@icloud.com.

Stephen Kavanagh : FRAG’MƐNT (TERRA NON-FIRMA)

Emerging from the social, geo-political and environmental uncertainty of the ‘Anthropocene’ – Fraɡˈmɛnt (Terra non-firma) brings together two recent recipients of Lateral Lab’s Robert Callender International Residency for Young Artists, Russell Beard and Stephen Kavanagh.
 
In this joint exhibition, the artists explore the liminal space between order and chaos, growth and disintegration. The series of new sculptural works chart the artists’ on-going experimentation with raw materiality – either pushed to breaking point to reveal hidden properties and new orders of complexity or drawing on spontaneous chemical and physical processes that deeply resonate with seismic societal and ecological transformations currently underway.
 
Summerhall Sat 06 Apr 2019 – Sun 19 May 2019 11:00-18:00 (Wed-Sun)

Aurélie Fontan : Tensegrity

Aurélie Fontan is a sustainable fashion designer focused on biodesign and ethical manufacture processes.

Her graduate collection Tensegrity demonstrates the positive combination of craft and technology, essentially based on science imagery and disciplines. One of her pieces is entirely grown from kombucha. She has been working at the Ascus Art & Science Lab for two years, researching and practicing biodesign with slime mould and kombucha, applied to fashion artefacts.

Aurélie is a recipient of numerous awards: Dame Vivienne Westwood Sustainable and Ethical Award, Catwalk Textiles, M&S Womenswear Award at Graduate Fashion Week 2018 and an Honorary Mention for the kombucha dress at Reshape Competition in Barcelona.

Summerhall Sat 06 Apr 2019 – Sun 19 May 2019 11:00-18:00 (Wed-Sun)

Louise Mackenzie : Pithos

Pithos (one possible story of our lively material) presents existing and new works by artist Louise Mackenzie, following a three-year period of intense research within the laboratories of the Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University and ASCUS Labs at Summerhall, Edinburgh.

Works in film, installation and participatory performance reimagine the myth of Pandora for the biotechnological era, tracing a path through Mackenzie’s personal and subjective experience of genetically modifying E. coli bacteria to store a thought within their bodies. The body of the micro-organism is commonly used as resource within biotechnology. Through the performative act of reconsidering the (microbial) body as a lively vessel, Mackenzie draws a closer connection to the living body in the context of the laboratory and in doing so, develops a subjective approach to working with life that confronts issues of care and control.

Sat 06 Apr 2019 – Sun 23 Jun 2019 11:00-18:00 (Wed-Sun)