Preview: Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art

WHEN you consider that Glasgow is hardly short of visual art events and festivals, that the biennial Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art (or the GI Festival for short) has been heralded as one of the brightest stars in the Glasgow art scene firmament is rather impressive.

Over the course of 18 days beginning from this Saturday, the GI Festival hosts everything from quirky temporary installations (the ‘Least Event’ series of shows at the Pipe Factory, which promise a ‘feral choir’ and a slowly melting caramel sculpture, look particularly fun) to informal seminars and major solo exhibitions from the likes of Turner prize-winning artist Richard Wright.

With so much to choose from, the task of picking what to see is a daunting one. Here are a few events to get the ball rolling...

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Arch 24/SWG3, 100 Eastvale Place, Fri 20 Apr - Mon 7 May

An interactive sound installation curated by Scottish musicians FOUND and Aidan Moffat that essentially aims to mimic the unreliable, pliable nature of stories told from memory. According to the press release, the installation is variously affected by the weather, attendees and Twitter feeds. FOUND and Moffat are also performing a live version of #Unravel at SWG3 on May 21.

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square, Mon-Wed & Sat, Fri 20 Apr - Sat 24 June

A Turner-prize nominee and someone whose profile in Scotland and internationally has risen in recent years, Karla Black’s show at GoMA is an apt showcase for her fluid, ephemeral sculpture works. Though Black uses easily attainable household materials for many of her structures, there is a certain otherness to her work that is well worth appreciating up close.

The Duchy Gallery, 23/25 Duke Street, Fri 20 Apr - Sat 19 May

A visual exploration of disco culture vis-a-vis grandiose 70s and 80s militarism (think Peter York’s Dictator’s Homes, a picture book of tyrannical excess), Pio Abad’s exhibition is visually and conceptually exciting, with a vibrancy that somewhat masks the subtleties of the ideas within. Using sculpture, film and ‘digital wallpaper’, Abad’s work looks to the future as much as it does the now-distant heyday of disco.

BBC Scotland, Pacific Quay, Mon 23 Apr, 6-8pm

One of a series of informal talks given by participating artists at the GI, Artists Talk offers another way to engage in the work exhibited across the 18 day festival. Cinematographer Michael McDonough, who will co-curate ‘The Making of Us’ as part of the GI, will discuss the work and plenty else besides, including his work on films such as Bowling for Columbine, Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait and Winter’s Bone.

Anything we’ve missed? Why not contribute your own suggestions for must-see shows in the comments section?