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Call for Writers! Glasgow International & ArtReview Writer Residency
by _editor, May 14, 2021
Shifting ‘attention’: Glasgow International Director Richard Parry reflects on the theme for GI2021
by _editor, April 30, 2021
Glasgow International 2021 programme revealed
by _editor, April 30, 2021
Recruiting volunteers for Gi2021
by _editor, March 24, 2021
Update: GI’s Commitment to Anti-Racism
by _editor, March 19, 2021
Alberta Whittle selected to represent Scotland + Venice in 2022, curated by Glasgow International
by Glasgow International, December 2, 2020
Update: GI’s Commitment to Anti-Racism
by Glasgow International, November 30, 2020
40% Artists’ Editions Flash Sale
by Glasgow International, November 26, 2020
GI2021 New June Dates
by Glasgow International, November 25, 2020
Glasgow International’s Commitment to Anti-Racism
by Glasgow International, September 28, 2020
Gi Digital Programme
by _editor, April 20, 2020
Postponed – Glasgow International
by _editor, March 17, 2020
Attention to What? | Public Lecture with Art Historian TJ Clark | Fri 6 March
by _editor, February 13, 2020
Gi Preview days: 23, 24, 25 April
by Glasgow International, January 31, 2020
Full Programme Now Available
by Glasgow International, January 30, 2020
Introducing the Advisory Board with Leonie Bell
by Glasgow International, December 10, 2019
Across the City in Gi
by Richard Parry, September 20, 2019
Glasgow International Announces Programme
by Richard Parry, September 20, 2019
Gi Selection Panel Announced
by Richard Parry, June 10, 2019
ATTENTION: Gi Theme
by Richard Parry, March 18, 2019
Looking Back on Mick Peter’s ‘The Regenerators’
by Laura Williams, May 7, 2018
Supporter Interview: Sigrid Kirk, Co-founder of ARTimbarc
by Eilidh McCabe, May 6, 2018
Artist Interview: Michelle Emery-Barker, ‘Sculpture Showroom’
by Carmel Wilkinson-Ayre, May 5, 2018
Artist Interview: Geneva Sills, ‘Against Time’
by Becki Crossley, May 4, 2018
The Changing Face of GI
by Carmel Wilkinson-Ayre, May 3, 2018
Treasure Hunting with the Artists Behind ‘Say What I Am Called’
by Imogen Harland, May 2, 2018
Artist Interview: Ric Warren, ‘Site Acquired’
by Becki Crossley, May 1, 2018
Accessibility at the Festival
by Eilidh McCabe, April 30, 2018
GI 2018 in One Day
by Hyemin Kim, April 28, 2018
Lynn Hershman Leeson, E. Jane, and Haraway’s Cyborg
by Imogen Harland, April 27, 2018
GI 2018 for Families
by Eilidh McCabe, April 27, 2018
Artist Interview: James Pfaff, ‘Alex & Me’
by Erifili Gounari, April 24, 2018

Shifting ‘attention’: Glasgow International Director Richard Parry reflects on the theme for GI2021

by _editor, April 30, 2021

Shifting 'Attention': Glasgow International Director reflects on the theme for GI2021

The theme of this year’s Glasgow International is ‘attention’ but in light of world events and the decision to postpone the festival from its earlier slot in 2020, it may also be apt to think about ‘shifting attention’.

As everything has changed around us in the past year, the way we pay attention has changed as well. The tempo of people’s lives adapted. For those lucky enough to retain regular employment, a commute might have transformed from an hour of boarding crammed trains to shuffling from the bedroom to the kitchen. The question of attending to those around us has changed too. The way in which how we care for those we love has needed to adapt at a time of both intense proximity in many living quarters, compounded with an enforced separation and distance from others.

Nonetheless, lockdown has provided us with the opportunity to consider what it is we truly prize in life. For many of us, the answers have lain in things that aren’t ascribed financial value. Alongside human relationships, we have been reminded of the true worth of expression and culture.

To pay attention to something is to bestow the value of concentration and time upon it. It is the decision of what to focus in on in detail and what to leave out or withdraw from. These past months have brought about substantial personal and social realisations for many. The events and protests following the murder of George Floyd have turned worldwide attention to the daily experiences and inequalities faced by people of colour and other marginalised communities. In doing so, it has placed a global focus on the examination of privilege and how to be more attentive to those around us, particularly those who face more barriers.

Similarly, the increasing urgency around climate change has refocused people and populations around the world on the convenience versus sustainability of our everyday lives, requiring new attention on even the most habitual actions in our homes and everyday lives.

Many of the exhibitions in Glasgow International are three years in the making now. We have sought to present the festival originally planned for a year ago as faithfully as possible, but also allowing space for re-appraisal. Some exhibitions have in a sense lain suspended in time for a year, others taking on changes and tweaks in the interim. A number of shows in the Across the City in particular have necessarily shifted fundamentally – whether to an online format or just in response to a different world today.

The placing of attention in something may relate to a curiosity and the pursuit of formal or aesthetic ends. It reminds us how art and expression permeate and give colour, soul, perception and intention to our lives. Attention seeks to step outside the everyday and open up a new space for looking, thinking and spending time with the work of artists and to see afresh the intent behind the work.

Whilst we have remained enclosed in our bubbles this past year, the desire to come together and reflect on political upheaval, personal changes and global concerns has not dimmed. The festival is a special moment in the creative rhythm of the city – and this year its way of enabling people to collectively share in this resonates like nothing in living memory.

Richard Parry, Director of Glasgow International

Explore the programme now.

Image: Duncan Campbell, Untitled (2020) / Photo Patrick Jameson, courtesy of the artist.