Monday, 19 March 2012

Preliminary Findings from Buzzcut

We all know the story: when New Territories disappeared, Glasgow lost its annual jamboree of interesting performance. In the ruins, like a phoenix out of fireflame, came Buzzcut. It is a triumph of hope over adversity, artists banding together to make sure that the city got its portion of hot Live Art Action.

Very good. In time, there must be a reckoning for those who allowed New Territories to fall, and the birth of Buzzcut does not make this okay. The only reason that no-one has had a few public words about the betrayal of Glasgow by somebody in the New Territories company is that no-one knows the truth, yet.

However, the delight that Buzzcut exists is enough in the first instance... it does not feel like it is time to rock the boat. Certainly, it got some top names in - Richard Layzell, Ultimate Dancer, Thom Scullion, Stephanie Black - along with the odd idiot like Mr Criticulous.

The Old Hairdressers (the venue for the Wednesday to Saturday) is not a perfect space for a festival: the main bar is rather cramped, even if the studio space (usually reserved for gigs or exhibitions) makes a good intimate theatre. Yet Buzzcut's charm is in making the most of what is available, and the video installations upstairs and the acts in the studio did carve out space to impress. The atmosphere was far more informal than, say, The National Review of Live Art (another RIP - I see why Buzzcut is getting props for making it).

First impressions, of the first few days: Buzzcut is not a replacement for New Territories - and if Creative Scotland try to pretend otherwise, it is bad news. It is a smart attempt to apply the sort of Artist Run innovations, that made the visual art scene (and music) so vibrant in Glasgow, to performance art.

More to follow. These opinions are tentative and subjective. As always. But more so.

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