For a week, a man has been walking a dog in my local manor of Dennistoun, in Glasgow, and is greeted with locals with their phonecams out.
Why? Well, you can see why. The Man And His Dug has been a local fixture this week. They are the creations of art duo Jarsdell Solutions, who are the current resident artists at the severely underrated Market Gallery in Duke Street, who have been going for almost 2 decades without much notice, except for when their art happenings have spilled onto the street, and roped them in. Such as, for example, this one.
This is the closing event. It took the form of a walking tour, in which we walk with the Man and his Dug across Dennistoun, as well as Mr Francis McKee, who filled us in on the alternative history of Dennistoun: it’s radical workers history, the politics (Both sexual [!], and Temperance [!!!] led) behind whether the cafes where you can get ice cream…
That, and the fact that the last stand of the Native Americans pre-genocide was living here in the last years of the 1800’s courtesy of Buffalo Bill, whose statue is a block-and-a-half from where I live. With, what I suppose, you could call their “entourage”, and by all accounts I have read, they rocked the place, and they could drink everyone under the table.
The dog walk ended in Market Gallery’s main space. In fact, it might be their only space soon. At which point, the point about the Man and His Dug became clearer: it’s partly old history of Denistoun, but also modern Dennistoun, and what’s happening right now.
What’s happening is this: The post office in Duke Street is moving. It’s current office: lovely, expensive building, about to be sold off- makes some money! So, where are they going to move? The answer? The two main spaces of Market Gallery. I don’t blame the owners- the Reidvale Housing Association- they’re between a rock and hard place. The area needs a Post Office.
Ever since I first came to Denistoun in the early 2000’s I was worried about gentrification of the local area, and it’s implications of trendy capitalism verses it’s effects on the locals (such as myself), and here I am in 2017, taking photos of a walking exhibit about it’s effects.
All of these things, after we walked with The Dug and His Man, we were ready to discuss it, and discuss it we blimmin well did. I remember seeing the invite in Facebook to this event, and it mentioning “discussion”, and I’m thinking: “Hm”, but it was: proper discussion, pretty much from the off, with real people, people like me, about Denistoun’s past, present, and future.