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Towards Imagopolis - Architecture and Film

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At Napier University, 61 Marchmont Road, Edinburgh, until 16 November

This is a small show of thoughtful work by six photographers and two film-makers, writes Julian Holder.Though the overall concept - 'Imagopolis'- lacks definition, this does not detract from the power of the work on display. Concerned more with spaces, places and the experience of buildings than with 'architecture', it is by turns witty and melancholic.

It ranges from Bellingham and Hamlyn's photographs of gasometers and speed cameras, 'disguised'by standard army camouflage patterns, to Ian Campbell's haunting reanimations of redundant industrial buildings. Here archive photographs of workers are superimposed onto, and into, the spaces that used to define their lives. Matt Laver contrasts and fetishises architectural plants and typical Modern Movement buildings in equal measure - for me the plants won.

Paul Gray shows two striking images of Fez and Brixton. Each treats its location as foreign and surreal - a colourful tannery amid close-packed housing, a skateboard park rising like mountains, but with council flats at the summit. The photographer's ability to make the familiar seem foreign is wonderfully and depressingly deployed by Leonora Olmi who dispassionately shows various 'dead spaces' in the public realm.

In their film Reflections on the Origins of the Pineapple, one of a series on follies, Huw Davies and Nigel Atkinson tease the viewer by not revealing the full pineapple - that is to say, the famous 18th-century summerhouse at Dunmore - until the last scene; while Noe Mendelle's film Turkish Delight is a sensual and elemental recreation of Harrogate's Turkish Baths. It is also a justification for community groups up and down the country, fighting for funding to reuse these magnificent 19th-century buildings (such as the Art Nouveau baths at Hathersage in Manchester).

In the related symposium at the Edinburgh Film House, Murray Grigor introduced some of his films, including friends and associates of Carlo Scarpa discussing his work, and earnest longhaired young men being trained for the priesthood in Cardross seminary in 1972. As film, it was powerful, as archive for a building now seemingly all but doomed it was doubly so.

Cardross appears now more a folly than any 18th-century pineapple - but far more important.

Julian Holder is coordinator of the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies

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