A POETRY collection created from submissions to the Smith Commission is among the exhibits in a new art show responding to the independence referendum.
Taking its title from an anarchist essay, The Shock of Victory examines the impact of the vote on our culture and society through sculpture, video installation and sound works.
Running until November 1 at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, the show opened last night and includes work from an international cast, including artists from Greece, Palestine and Northern Ireland.
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Pieces include paper records featuring the 99 words most commonly used during the indyref by Glasgow duo In the Shadow of the Hand.
They also include A Better Tale To Tell by Leith poet Alec Finlay, who took submissions from the public to the Smith Commission after the landmark vote, reproducing them verbatim but using spacing to transform the prose.
Published in conjunction with the Scottish Poetry Library, the Saltire Society and the National Library of Scotland, the work examines the relationship between the citizen and the state and presents submissions from both the Yes and No sides.
Finlay told The National: “The Smith Commission is the biggest ever submission of ideas since the Second World War – 12,000 people wrote letters.
“It was like the shock absorber after the referendum. I wanted to give value to those views.”
Material used in the book is governed by Crown copyright under English law and the public’s words are presented anonymously.
Finlay said: “Someone will find themselves. I love that idea. I don’t know if people are male or female or what they do, it’s anonymous.
“The skill I have as a poet is to try and transcribe people’s views and thoughts. The shape that I gave it is my shape. I didn’t change one single thing.
“I deliberately like mixing the Yes and No. I had to put it in together. That’s what makes it art, it doesn’t try to resolve the differences.”
He added: “I was really moved by what people said, by the truth of it. I didn’t change a single word, all I did was the spacing.
“You don’t often as an artist make something which genuinely belongs to a community. I can’t say a country, that would be too strong. I’m proud of it in a way I wouldn’t normally be of my work. There’s nothing of me in it but it’s all me.”
Other exhibits include a marble installation by Greek artist Antonis Pittas with newspaper quotes stencilled in graphite, while criminologists from Glasgow University will use the public forum space to show a piece relating to the depiction of young people.
Oraib Toukan displays a series of photographs of architecture in Palestine in relation to that society’s “ongoing transformations”, while Mairead McClean tries to reclaim the memories of 1970s Northern Ireland, when her father was imprisoned under the province’s internment policy.
Meanwhile, a series of specially commissioned essays about “post-referendum reality” will be published on the exhibition’s website so visitors can “continue that conversation”, according to curator Remco de Blaaij.
A symposium on the issues raised will be held on Friday. De Blaaij, from the Netherlands, said: “We are asking how artists can respond to this and we’re not only talking about the Scottish referendum, we’re talking about other examples from around the world.
“We don’t know how to deal with it still. It’s more about giving tools to artists to start thinking about it.”