Friday, 10 May 2013

Stations of the Green

This week I went down to see 'Stations of the Green', an exhibition focussing on Douglas Gordon's demolished work 'Proof' at Glasgow Green Station.

Gordon painted the mural (or rather Ross Sinclair and Dave Allen did it although they are a bit vague on the details) in 1990 on the walls of the abandoned station but over time, it became hidden from view and unsafe.  At the beginning of last year, in the high winds, part of the mural collapsed and Network Rail demolished the remainder of it in March 2012.  The site now lies empty.

As someone relatively new to Glasgow, I thought this was a very thought provoking exhibition on several levels.  Firstly, and the most obvious I suppose, is that Douglas Gordon is a Turner Prize winner and yet the City did nothing to protect this work - seems a little short sighted to me in a city that appears to pride itself on it's contemporary cultural reputation.  Secondly, I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't know about it!  And thirdly, I felt quite sad at the loss of this combination of victorian architecture/city history and contemporary public art piece.  Part of the exhibition are the stones which have the letters 'EE' 'T' and 'ION' and they are beautiful, solid pieces of sandstone and it struck me that by removing them, we have reduced them to nostalgic relics.  When they were part of 'Proof' something old had been turned into something contemporary and dynamic.  To me it allows us to acknowledge the past, but to then move forward to the future.

It's a good exhibition with lots of layers, and has really got me thinking; I recommend you catch it before it finishes on 17 May if you can.

Stations of the Green


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