Beat Exhibition – Stuart Middleton

Stuart Middleton’s exhibition ‘Beat’ was simple in its execution, but, begged to tell a greater story. The exhibition, which took place at Glasgow’s Tramway is, at first, almost unimpressionable upon arrival. A room where, it seems, rather inanimate objects have been placed is verging on fluorescent white. A sculpture, or more accurately what looks like a huge tent, takes up around a quarter of the room. White sheets cover copper bars:  a sculpture created by the artist.

Inside the sculpture is a stop-motion video which plays, finishes, fades to black and then repeats. The stop-motion is of a malnourished, perhaps once neglected, taxidermised black dog. The product itself is incredibly interesting to watch and is accompanied by loud sounds which have been placed over the video footage; the dogs tail hitting off of the floor; the wet sounds of the dogs tongue moving; the loud barks that escape from its mouth. And although the stop-motion is somewhat obscure, and definitely what some may call weird, its great to see how Middleton has made, what is a non-living, dead, animal come back to life. The dog had become almost cartoonish as it moved around against its white background.

The rest of the tent, to my disappointment, featured no more work from the artist of that nature. And I call it disappointing because the stop-motion was so great that once I had a taste of it I wanted more. However, that being said, on its own, I absolutely loved the video of the dog and it was more than good enough to make the trip – and ten pound taxi fare – to Tramway more than worthwhile. It was also enjoyable to walk through a sculpture that felt like a mini-maze and guided you towards Middleton’s work. On top of that, most work displayed by an artist is usually showed to an audience on a wall or clear to see in a room, so, it was refreshing to have his work displayed within something that he had made.


I had a quick chat with Melissa, a Scottish lifestyle and fashion blogger, who was also a fan of Stuart Middleton’s exhibition:

“My expectations for the show were based solo off of the poster as I’d never seen Stuart Middleton’s work before so I literally had no clue what to expect. That being said, I thought his work might have been photographs or videos of some sort purely because of the poster – to then get there and see a full on installation that changed the way viewers could interact with the space was really cool and unexpected. The viewer literally has to walk in to the work (The tunnel) to view the video of the dog barking and it directs you in such a way that the work dictates how you interact with the space as a whole. Honestly, I did not expect his work to be so interactive but I really enjoyed the show.”

Melissa’s Blog:

You can watch some more videos from the exhibition here



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