A FILM exploring Rudolf Hess’s mysterious solo flight to Scotland in 1941 is part of an exhibition investigating fame, myth and eerie landscapes.

Mount Strange And The Temple of Fame, Summerhall’s first exhibition of 2020, brings together a diversity of work by four artists which aims to make us consider what is fake and what is artifice, what is imagined and what is real.

Through drawings, films, sound, objects, installation and performance, the six-room exhibition explores cultural memories, ritual, folklore and the unreliability of written history and received wisdom.

In a live piece to be performed on International Women’s Day, Madrid-based artist Maria Gimeno will use a kitchen knife to splice forgotten women artists into a copy of EH Gombrich’s The Story Of Art, a principal book on art history courses the world over.

Curator Wendy Law came across Gimeno’s Queridas Viejas (Old Mistresses) while holidaying in Gran Canaria.

“Maria was doing a performance in a museum there,” says Law. “I realised she was dealing with an art historian who was British, Gombrich. He had taught me when I was down in London as an art history student. His book sold more than eight million copies. In her performance she takes a kitchen knife to add all the women artists she believes Gombrich has missed out and which have a rightful place in western art history.”

As well as the performance on March 8 – the first time Gimeno has performed the piece in the UK, the exhibition includes related static pieces such as embroidery, the doctored book and a giant, wall-sized version of Gombrich’s timeline plotting the great masters, now completed with Gimeno’s additions – including herself.

Law, who worked at the Scottish Arts Council for more than a decade, was already familiar with the work of Mina Heydari-Waite, a Glasgow-based artist whose vibrant installations explore ideas of hierarchy and imagination in the Iranian diaspora following the 1979 revolution.

The work of Victoria Clare Bernie, whose atmospheric film gives the exhibition its title, has also long been in Law’s sights.

In Daedalus, Bernie takes on the stories surrounding Rudolf Hess’s flight to Dungavel House, then the summer residence of the Dukes of Hamilton, while her Mount Strange relates to the 2nd Duke of Atholl’s “wilderness garden” – a kind of aristocratic play park fashionable in the 18th century.

“This ‘wilderness’ was managed and tamed,” says Law. “Species were brought in from over the Empire, as too were classical sculptures of Diana, the goddess of hunting.

“Now they’ve become old and entropy has taken over – that’s what Victoria is interested in, that chaotic entanglement of landscape.”

Like Bernie, Edinburgh-based multi-media artist Alix Villanueva investigates entanglements and interdependency through haunted films and objects – often made using her own hair and shoreline flotsam.

“Though beautiful, they have no practical purpose, suggesting a use in ritual.

“Alix’s art embodies her own experience of the world with

ideas of the large landscape

and notions of the cosmos,” says Law.

“She embraces that complexity. Just as there are myths about Rudolf Hess, in Alix’s work we have mythology as folklore; this healing, holistic aspect that our present time is ignoring to a greater extent.”

Until March 15 (not Mondays or Tuesdays), Summerhall, Edinburgh, 11am to 6pm, free. Tel: 0131 560 1580. www.summerhall.co.uk