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My Glasgow International top tips

What to do and where to go at Glasgow's festival of visual art

What to see at Glasgow International? If you are off to visit, the first thing is to read and inwardly digest Adrian Searle's lovely review. He starts by talking about the Christoph Büchel piece at Tramway – a vast, immersive (as the word du jour will have it) installation that leads you into a kind of re-created prison where a forensic investigation of a plane-crash seems to be be taking place. It is impressive in its scale but... somehow I just didn't quite fall in love with it. My disbelief remained unsuspended. Still, it's a good thing to start at Tramway, for there is plenty going on. Not least Douglas Gordon's film work, 24 Hour Psycho, in a new version. It's fantastic to revisit this piece, so often talked about, so much imitated. There's a nice programme of films running in one of the other spaces. Turtle Dreams by Meredith Monk (1983) was a particular pleasure to catch.

I agree with Adrian – don't miss Vestiges Park. It's a hoot. Presided over by the Oolite Sisterhood (some of whom seem to be men) it's part zoological park, part freak-show, part Victorian travelling fairground – a strange wilderness parked in a bit of railway-side, litter-covered waste ground by the Glasgow Sculpture Studios. I particularly enjoyed the Glove Museum. Actually it reminded me childhood visits to the reptile house. Really a bit sinister.

If you're in the West End this weekend you might also investigate Aphrodite at the Water Hole – an exhibition mounted by artists in two neighbouring tenement flats. Art competes with the paraphernalia of family life in rented accommodation...

In town, down towards the Clyde, there is a whole clump of things not to miss. The Modern Institute is Glasgow's most important gallery, home (well, metaphorically speaking) to Turner-prize-winning artists Jeremy Deller, Simon Starling and Richard Wright. They've moved into very very smart new premises – a converted laundry-cum-bathhouse, where the inaugural exhibition is devoted to Jim Lambie's metal sculptures (some of which, intriguingly, are formed from crushed suits of armour). Funnily enough after that visit, we started noticing disused Victorian bathhouses all over the city. (All ripe for conversion into galleries...)

Pop into Mary Mary, where there is a show devoted to Gerda Scheepers. (Mary Mary represents Karla Black, whom Scotland is fielding at next year's Venice Biennale.) Next door, Ten Til Ten (aka young curator Lindsey Hanlon, whose day job's at The Modern Institute) has mounted a show, in an empty apartment, of Heather Cook's textile pieces. Nearby, pop into Sorcha Dallas' gallery, where Linder is showing. Linder's also doing a 13-hour performance at the Arches on Friday called The Darktown Cakewalk: Celebrated from the House of FAME. (it comes to the Chisenhale in London on 10 July).

Right by the Clyde itself is Susan Philipsz's haunting sound installation, which I wrote about a few weeks ago for the Guardian's arts pages. It's even stranger and lovelier than I had imagined, taking passers-by by surprise. While you stand on the water's edge, look at the granite piles of the old railway bridge – constructed in 1878 and dismantled in the 1960s. I hadn't even noticed when I visited a few weeks back, but there's a beautiful Ian Hamilton Finlay piece (1990)an inscription in English, below which is a passage of Greek.



Which means, "for all great things are perilous and, as it's said, beautiful things are hard". Which is from Plato's Republic. The English is a version of Heidegger's loose translation of the passage, which (so I read) he used as the conclusion of his inaugural lecture as rector of Freiburg university in 1933 (I feel this needs more research in due course, since it's mighty loose as a translation. Please let me know if you've any insight here...). (I'm indebted to Alistair Duff, who pointed out the Hamilton Finlay to me.) © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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