beagles & ramsay
30 October 2008 – 28 February 2009
“The world belongs to those with good teeth” (Pasolini’s ‘Accatone’ 1959)
Glasgow Sculpture Studios launched its new gallery and exhibition programme at Kelvinhaugh Street with an exhibition of new work by Beagles & Ramsay’s created during their three-month Production Residency at GSS.
Two key interweaving currents of interest drive the work of Beagles & Ramsay: the reoccurring use of fictionalised self-portraiture and, in broad terms, a critical examination of aspects of contemporary consumer culture. To date their presence within the work has largely been a performed presence – using doppelgangers as a means of speaking in alternate voices or drawing upon multiple personae. Inhabiting these shifting personae has allowed them the conceptual space to explore aspects of contemporary culture, such as consumerism, political disenfranchisement, and the cult of celebrity – without the restrictions of a singular, authoritative voice.
The duo’s practice also owes a great deal to earlier, pre-modernist traditions within art, specifically the counter tradition of the carnivalesque. “Artists, from Bruegel, Tiepolo and Goya, to more acerbic satirists such as Daumier and Hogarth (as well as novelists such as Swift, Rabelais and Chaucer) have had a profound influence on our work.” Say the artists, “An influential aspect of these artists work has been their ability to synthesise their visual aesthetic with political allegories and satirical content.”
The exhibition was accompanied by a commissioned essay by Norman James Hogg