Introduction

Together, held for a spell, tomorrow already at the door. Two years: too fast. The MFA Programme at Glasgow School of Art is now entering its twentieth year. There have been many changes throughout this period, but some things remain more or less constant. Here’s a thought. After years of wear and tear, all the original timbers of the Argo, the vessel which carried Jason and his crew from adventure to adventure, had been replaced. This prompts a philosophical speculation: was the final Argo still the ‘real’ Argo, despite having none of its original timbers? And so it is with the MFA. Students come and students go, but the MFA remains. And yet these transitory students are the MFA. Without them it is simply an empty concept, an unrealised possibility. When a group of young artists from around the world comes together for two years on the Programme they realise the MFA’s possibilities. Each realisation is different, and thus the MFA is constantly reinvented by the students, whilst somehow remaining... the MFA.

The final exhibition of these students’ work – the Tramway show – is where we witness the results of this reinvention. For the duration of the exhibition these works will be this year’s newly invented MFA. As soon as the exhibition is dismantled, however, the MFA will have to wait for another year to find out what it will be. This is, to an extent, what gives this exhibition its extraordinary vitality. It is the MFA, yet it is impatient not to be the MFA for very much longer. It is bursting with energy, champing at the bit, eager to say its fond farewells and move on to new horizons. Less a point of arrival, the Tramway show is more a junction: a temporary meeting point where paths cross before each moves off in its own new direction. But before they begin the next stage of their journeys we would like to thank all of them for the pleasure of their company, and for having made this year's MFA as such an interesting place to be.

John Calcutt
Acting Programme Leader