Grace Schwindt: Five Surfaces All White


CCA, Glasgow
7th September – 13th October


Walking into this exhibition at the CCA I found myself in a four-walled room that held a five-walled screen and a seating area for the audience. Feeling like I had just been admitted to a very uncomfortable padded cell – a very isolating environment. I watched as the five walled screens came to life with the haunting and eerie chants of Schwindt’s voice. mantra inducing. It was as if she was trying to ignore me and communicate with two other isolated figures a man with a trumpet and a young girl beside a horse. The seated man masked Schwindt’s humming with his humming and periodical tones on his trumpet.

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The singing is a form of healing and the horse symbolizes an animal of power and strength but this animal of power and strength is also isolated in it’s own world eating the grass. Through her voice which seemed that she is singing to the environment, she is placed in surrounded by beautiful mountains but also the five white walls. It is as if she can’t escape the man-made world. Similar to the Three Ages of Women by Gustav Klimt there is almost a recognition by the women after her interaction with the man that she is now passing on her knowledge, skills and courage to the child who then mounts the symbol of strength, the horse.

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This exhibit transports you into another world, the world of the artist, the world of mystery almost shamanistic in her approach. As you walk in you step into what seems like another plain of existence and all-encompassing eclectic interpretation of the struggles of life. It is almost like a re-telling of the stories of times gone by that is now lost with the advances of technology and the isolation that comes with it, a loss of community spirit.

These three lost souls struggling to find common ground have eliminated the more common way of dealing with mental health i.e. visiting the psychiatrist and have aligned their value and belief systems with SPK. Socialist Patience Collective(SPK) partly contribute to Schwindt’s performance. They are an anti-psychiatric collective from Heidelberg, Germany. The SPK are also interested and explore themes of the social causes of mental illness. If you are in the mood to face the stark realities of the rat race you won’t go far wrong visiting the CCA before 13th October.

George Price

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