elenahpowell

New projects and what not

In Camp 21 - Cultybraggan, Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, Interesting things on October 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm

So… There’s two sets of things to do, one is sort of a continuation of the extraordinary object things, the other is…not. But before all that, feedback came out (gotta be the quickest ever that). All niceness and nice things.

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Continuation of stuff, kinda has nothing to do with boots or clay or anything except from throwing stuff about at the moment. But we’re doing fun things still. It’s more a list of things to do than things I can show as having been messed about with. Anyway.

intermedia methodologies:

we would like you to continue working from the point that you are now at. You may still be working in a very direct way with your ‘object’ or your working process may have moved you into working with possibilities other than those with which you started. These differing positions are all fine points to be at. What we will be looking at in the next 5 weeks are the different possibilities that video, light, sound, and performance can introduce to your working processes

These processes are most associated with Intermedia as they directly allow for the blurring of different phenomena with an artistic experience. In the last week of the project, you are asked to exhibit your work as a group in the project spaces; showing work that communicates your thinking over the Semester. Normally artists aren’t there beside their work to explain it. How can you share with a stranger you’ll never meet, an experience that allows them to see the world in a different way?

I’ve been videoing stuff (it is technically video week at the moment…), dropping and throwing things to start with and then going through everything on my desk at home to see what I could throw away. (I separated stuff out but haven’t thrown it away yet). Here’s some shoes falling very slowly.

I’ve put film into my Lomokino so I can do some stuff with that, even if I don’t scan it in (because that was a complete and utter pain) I can film the viewer thingy, or try. Hopefully it’ll work this time… Slightly hit and miss that camera. I’ll do more digital stuff and what not, but something more physical might be nice.

And the other thing is an intermedia off site micro-residency in the middle of nowhere – well, Comrie, which is in Perthshire somewhere. We’re based in Cultybraggan, which is an ex-POW camp which is now being re-used/developed, they have allotments… We’re staying there overnight on Monday and then again next semester before installing stuff.

This is a unique opportunity to take part in an exciting off site project, undertake a residency in a significant historic site and produce work for a public exhibition/ live event.

Background
Cultybraggan Camp is one of the one of the three best preserved purpose-built WWII prisoner of war camps in Britain and lies outside the village of Comrie, in the southern Highlands of Scotland. It is a rural situation yet only an hour’s drive from Glasgow.

Comrie is a historic conservation village recognised for its outstanding beauty and history and is also situated in a National Scenic Area around the river Earn. It is a thriving local community with over 50 local groups covering all ages and many interests. Situated on the Highland Boundary Fault, the village experiences more earthquakes than anywhere else in Britain.

Cultybraggan was originally built as an WWII Prisoner of War camp to house Italian and German prisoners. Subsequently (until 2004) it was used as an army training facility. Comrie Development Trust bought it through a community right-to buy ruling in 2007 and is currently developing it as a sustainable community asset. Allotments and a community orchard are already in place and some of the original 100 Nissen huts (many of which are A and B listed) have been refurbished and let out to local businesses. A Museum about the camp is under construction and there are plans for a cinema in another of the huts. Cycle tracks and play facilities are underway, and the Trust is open to viable suggestions for other usages and amenities for the site.

Cultybraggan was built in 1941 to house around 4000 prisoners. Named PoW Camp 21 it has a fascinating history. It housed many German prisoners classed as ‘black’: committed Nazis and often high ranking SS officers.

In 1944 many of the ringleaders of the Devizes plot (a plan to break as many as 250,000 PoWs out of camps across Great Britain and attack the country from within) were sent to Camp 21. These included a prisoner who was sent by mistake and who was openly anti-Nazi. He was lynched, and five of those responsible were hanged at Pentonville Prison for his murder, the largest multiple hanging in the 20th-century Britain.

Many older residents have memories of German soldiers arriving in Comrie, marching and singing through the streets and thereafter partaking in village life. Nowadays when visiting the camp, it is not difficult to imagine the Nissen Huts surrounded by barbed wire, military trucks and the assault course, all reminders of what man can do to man and the horrors of war. But there are also many examples to hear of the triumph of the human spirit and stories about what man can do for man.

Exciting, no? Like a bit of history every now and then… We had a meeting this afternoon which was largely ‘what food/booze do we need…?’, which is always a good start really. We’re going up Glen Lodnock on the Tuesday, so I’m having a bit of a ‘must by lots of stuff’ moment. Including a stick, because my balance is crap.

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