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The Sky is Falling - CCA Glasgow

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by Harley Griffiths (subscribe)
Harley is a freelance writer currently based in Glasgow. To see her portfolio visit
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Get to know your city like never before
The CCA's latest exhibition, The Sky is Falling, will leave you walking down Sauchiehall street far more alert to the sights, sounds, and sociopolitical struggles of Glasgow's urban development than you ever were before.

The Sky is Falling approaches the idea of the 'city' from all angles and from all over the world through a collection of different artists' works, both past and present. Although the exhibit temporarily transports you to distant places like Brasília, Calcutta, and Detroit, it encourages you to explore your own city from an alternate frame of mind.

The exhibition space is curated with the works of five artists, each using very different mediums. Three installation pieces, however, are particularly potent.

Multimedia artist Clara Ianni's short film, Free Form (2013), presents a series of audio interviews with the chief architects of Brazil's capital city, Brasília. The film is simple in presentation and forthright in its implications.

Clara Ianni - Free Form - Brasilia - Brazil - Oscar Niemeyer
Clara Ianni's film, Free Form (2013), deals with the controversy surrounding construction of Brazil's capital city, Brasilia

Another film, Twilight City (1989), is equally hard-hitting in its message. In this film, directed by Reece Auguiste in collaboration with the Black Audio Film Collective, poetic narration meanders through the streets of London and weaves between bursts of direct, sociopolitical commentary. It is a piece as beautiful as it is ominous.

Reece Auguiste - Twilight City - Black Audio Film Collective - London - Homi Bhaba - Paul Gilroy - Thatcher
A still from Reece Auguiste's film, Twilight City (1989), explores Thatcherite London using politics and poetry

Similarly, psychogeographer Laura Oldfield Ford creates powerful contrasts in her installation, incorporating spoken words and techno soundscapes into her work. Oldfield Ford generates a sensory story of Glasgow's Gorbals; she creates a mood that makes you feel desperate, frustrated, determined, and hopeful, all at the same time. It's best to stand in the corner of this installation, close your eyes, and listen.

Carol Rhodes - Calcutta
Here, Carol Rhodes' abstract painting shows a birds-eye view of a city's humanless infrastructure

Although these three installations are the ones that will probably occupy most of your time at the exhibition, there are quieter pieces that help balance out the programme. Clara Ianni's Class Drawing series; Dora Mejía's Wandering Stars and Garden of Eden cushion grid; and Carol Rhodes' painting and drawings are less vocal about their message. This is a refreshing aspect of the exhibition, which otherwise runs the risk of overwhelming its audience.

Dora Mejia - Garden of Eden - Medellin - Wandering Stars
Dora Mejia's installation, The Garden of Eden, is a grid of 98 square cushions depicting satellite images of cities across the world

The Sky is Falling will be held in the Centre for Contemporary Art's exhibition space until the 14th of May and will make you reconsider all you thought you knew about cities. If you are left wanting even more, there is an accompanying reader available for purchase at the CCA.
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When: 1 April - 14 May 2017
Phone: 44 (0)141 352 4900
Where: Centre for Contemporary Arts
Cost: Free
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