Catherine Yass: High Wire

Exhibiting at the Berwick Gynasium, Berwick-upon-Tweed, 22 Jun - 15 Sep 2013 [Info]

Originally shown:
11 April - 24 May 2008, CCA: The Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Visual Art
16 September - 26 October 2008, Artangel at The German Gymnasium, London

Tightrope at Red Road

Ninety metres above the ground, a thin metal wire stretches between three tower blocks in North Glasgow's Red Road. A solitary figure steps off the edge of the building, moving slowly and gracefully, step by silent step, along the wire...

A crowd of residents looks up at the tiny figure high above them. A panoramic view of the city, almost entirely rebuilt in the last 50 years, reaches all around.

A multi-screen film and video installation, High Wire was filmed at the Red Road housing scheme in North Glasgow in 2007. When it was built in the early 1960s, Red Road was the highest social housing in Europe, a triumph of the city planners’ dreams to rebuild the city. Into the void between the planners’ concrete dreams, another kind of dreamer, the French high-wire artist Didier Pasquette, steps out – at first gracefully, then hesitantly, and then he stops…

Catherine Yass’s films generate startling new perspectives on the urban environment, capturing familiar sights from highly unusual vantage points. High Wire is the ultimate expression of her interest in the vertiginous view. It juxtaposes the containment of the concrete blocks and the modernist idealism of streets reaching into the sky, with the self-contained mental space of the high wire artist and the freedom of walking in the air.

High Wire is included in
The Artangel Collection.

It was co-commissioned by Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Visual Art. The work was supported by the National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council, Republique Francaise/ Institut Francais, The Henry Moore Foundation, Alison Jacques Gallery, London and Lelong Gallery, New York.

This project was supported by Arts Council England, Artangel International Circle, Special Angels and The Company of Angels