Ruth Barker

Win One for the Gipper




Becky Sik

Win One for the Gipper


Bell Street, Glasgow



The Glasgow-based curatorial team EmergeD have in their time showcased a frankly vast array of young artists currently making work. Their far sightedness in picking not-the-usual-suspects often pays off, as it has so clearly in ‘Win One for the Gipper’ – the most recent exhibition at the Vacant Shop Front #2.

Sik’s installation has the weight and maturity to lend the architecturally unappealing space a gravity rarely glimpsed in such transient, temporary work. The mechanically fragile system suggests Turner-prize nominee Simon Starling at his most poetic, as here the enigmatic elements bristle with a very literal charge. Thin steel rods attached to a central pivot move like the silent cars of some early-modern fairground ride. Occasionally their rhythmic passing brushes against an etched drawing on a metal plate, completing a circuit to a video monitor showing a static electric burst arcing painfully slowly. Behind this silent yet elegantly tragic sequence a majestically delicate Jacob’s Ladder of reclaimed wooden panels hangs in absolute stillness. With apparently infinite care the artist has worked the image of an art-deco façade into the layers of peeling wood, and a single sentence embodying the optimism of Sik’s practice: WE ARE STILL PIONEERS.