Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop and Edinburgh Art Festival Director Sorcha Carey were joined by 2010 Turner Prize-winning artist Susan Philipsz for the official launch of the ninth edition of the Edinburgh Art Festival.
The event was marked with the first public sounding of Timeline, a newly-commissioned multi-site sound installation by Susan Philipsz, the artist’s first ever commission for the Scottish capital. The work is developed in response to Edinburgh’s famous One O’clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle and will sound daily at 1pm at various locations throughout the city.
The work can be heard from some of Edinburgh’s most historic monuments and sites, projecting a succession of recordings of the artist’s voice calling along the now invisible electric cable which once connected the One O’clock Gun to a master clock three quarters of a mile away at Nelson’s Monument.
Timeline is part of ‘Festival Promenade’, 12 newly-commissioned works by leading and early-career Scottish visual artists. 2012 is Edinburgh Art Festival’s most ambitious programme of new commissions to date, and aims to bring new artworks into public spaces, inviting visitors to look and experience anew Edinburgh’s iconic cityscape.
This complements a packed programme of exhibitions and events taking place every day for 32 days throughout the festival season, including over 50 exhibitions across the city in more than 30 of the city’s museums, not-for-profit, commercial galleries and pop-up spaces.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said:
“Scotland’s rich creativity and culture are world-renowned, and the Edinburgh Art Festival is a fantastic showcase of our nation’s artistic talent. It is fitting that the Festival is staging its most ambitious programme to date in 2012, our Year of Creative Scotland. Timeline, this year’s Expo-funded project, is an exciting new addition which will stimulate audiences and encourage them to experience Edinburgh’s public spaces in new ways this festival season.”
Sorcha Carey, Director, Edinburgh Art Festival said:
“We are delighted to launch the ninth Edinburgh Art Festival with an ambitious programme of exhibitions and publicly sited artworks by leading and emerging Scottish artists. It is particularly appropriate that we officially open the festival with Susan Philipsz’ Timeline. This contemporary response to Edinburgh’s historic One O’clock Gun inaugurates a month-long celebration of visual art and culture in the city, where visitors and residents alike set aside familiar routines to embrace the city in full festival swing.”
Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive, Creative Scotland said:
“This is a cracking commission to launch this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival. Timeline will audibly link the city’s landmarks to Edinburgh Castle, adding a unique live experience for Festival audiences and giving many their first chance to enjoy Susan’s work – it’s another great addition to this Year of Creative Scotland!”
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer, EventScotland said:
“The Festival Promenade element of the 2012 Edinburgh Art Festival is hugely exciting and what better way to kick things off than with Scotland’s own Susan Philipsz’ latest work. The innovative and ambitious programme will give visitors the chance to engage with newly-commissioned works, throughout the public spaces in Edinburgh’s iconic landscape. Scotland is the perfect stage for major cultural events and Edinburgh is most certainly the place to be this summer as the festival season gets underway.”