Preview: The City and The Stars, Stills

Exhibition: The City and The Stars, Stills, Edinburgh, until July 18 2010

Art tends to get categorised by medium rather than subject matter. Sci-fi may exist in literature, but fantasy art remains a pejorative term.

So the latest show at Stills, coinciding with the Edinburgh Science Festival, takes its title from a book. The City and The Stars is a novel by Arthur C Clarke, and is as sci-fi as you can get. So what of the photography it inspires?

Emma Kay from London looks to the past, even as she looks to the future. The World From Memory and The Future From Memory sound more like scientific inquiry than scientific fabulation.

Craig Mulholland offers works which animate machines, but this Glaswegian’s concern – the over-regulation of everyday life – is with us already.

German Rut Blees Luxemburg looks forward, with large scale pictures which reveal the possibilities of city life and the ways in which we are conditioned to read images.

Could you call any of this sci-photography? Possibly, but perhaps it is still easier to write about the world to come rather than show it. Little green men don’t photograph well.

Written for Culture24.

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