Photo Credit: Ross McLean

My first foray into Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) was straight into the bowels of the building, as we went down the stairs into the Visual Research Centre (VRC). The VRC is dedicated to practice-led research, and is home to research staff and doctoral students from the Schools of Design, Art & Media.

As a researcher by trade, I am fascinated by archives and research led spaces. It’s such a luxury to have time and space to sit and take in work, theories or products – in a quiet space and in a considered manner, rather than the throng of information that google offers up when carrying out a search. (And the folks at team Censta know what a web lover I am, so that’s a fairly strong comment coming from me!)

We visited 3 spaces at the VRC.

First the Rewind Micro Cinema. A collection of early artists videos, ranging from the 1960s to 1990s. Rewind has catalogued and preserved the works, which are now available to view in a dedicated room at VRC. A small white cinema, with space for 2 or 3 to cosily sit and enjoy an afternoon of secluded viewing. It felt almost like a white washed spanish villa inside, with white curtains and feeling like being cocooned in a serene space. I watched, or listened to one piece, Clapping Songs from Tina Keane (1979 so very much drawing me back to an age that would have me knowing these songs too). I needed to leave, as we had more to visit on our Dundee Popup tour, but would recommend a few hours spent in the VRC to anyone who enjoys immersing themselves in the work.

What also struck me about the VRC was the way in which Rewind has preserved the works. The practitioners who produced the videos have been interviewed to find out where the work was displayed, how it was installed – was it a TV installation, at a festival etc, so the original screening can be recreated.

The Rewind works do tour, but you can also book in time to go and view the videos at the DCA. Get in touch with the Duncan of Jordanstone folks, or visit theRewind site.


Photo Credit: Ross McLean

We also visited the Centre for Artist Books, and had a peek into a Phd installation about to be unveiled this week, but you’ll have to wait till my next installment to hear about those. As even an internet addict has to go offline sometimes!

Thanks very much to Laura Simpson for the tour and talk.


To find out what Dundee Popup was all about or to read more reviews & blogs  from the day, click here.