Edinburgh art festival review – follies, broken statues and a surprise star

By Jonathan Jones

Various venues
Douglas Gordon knocks Robert Burns off his pedestal and Pablo Bronstein goes gothic at Jupiter Artland. But it’s the video art of Stephen Sutcliffe and Kate Davis that delves deepest at this year’s festival

In the soaring gothic entrance hall of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, big chunks of black marble are heaped on the ground in front of a glistening statue of the national poet Robert Burns. You recognise a leg, and see that Douglas Gordon has commissioned a jet black replica of John Flaxman’s white marble figure – then smashed it.

The divided psyche haunts this Turner prize winner’s art, and Scottish literature. Robert Louis Stevenson, author of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, is among the worthies whose marble busts have been turned to the wall for this installation, as if they were looking away in disgust from the exposed inner darkness of Robert Burns.

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