Leon McDermott, 'Group Show' (The Metro, 07/06/2006)

All Dressed Up … is the Scottish leg of a transatlantic pair of group shows in conjunction with New York gallery Broadway 1602, and put together by the gallery’s curator, Anke Kempkes.

Cramming work by eight artists, including painting, multimedia work, film, sculpture, photography, collage, into the street-front confines of Sorcha Dallas gallery, it all feels a little overwhelming at first; walk into the main space, and you’re hemmed in by art on all sides. However,, Kempkes’ selections, though they vary wildly in form and content, all hang together with a pleasing asymmetry, with works by artists operating in very different spheres informing each other,

At first it’s Ana Menieta’s People Looking at Blood … that catches your eye. A series of 35 slides shot in an Iowa street in 1973, each features a person (or persons) walking past a doorway, before which a pool of blood seeps. It’s an intervention in the everyday; a macabre shock and genuinely creepy. It’s not the only intervention in the everyday though, Edwin La Liq;s line drawings – 1920s New Yorker magazine covers by way of 21st-century dandy posing – show people stepping out of the ordinary in a different way: dressing up, messing with gender identification.

Agnieszka Brzezanska’s work similarly aims for confusion, her short films offering murky insights into private jokes and parties in Poland. They’re fuzzy and you assume intentionally vague; an escape from the oppressive political atmosphere in the outside world. Ryan Doolan, meanwhile, wants to share the joke rather than keep it to himself.

Rational Gayz features a bust of Bertrand Russell staring down on cut-outs of various figures: the Pope, a Liam-Gallagher-esque thug, some playing toffs. Their shadow thrown on to the wall by a harsh light, they become guests at the same party. Though what they’d talk about is anyone’s guess.

Subject Exhibition

All dressed up with nowhere to go, Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow
With: Agnieszka Brzezanska, Friederike Clever, Ryan Doolan, Michael …