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Grigor and Baines take on St. Peter’s

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February 24 2006

The film-maker Murray Grigor is to reshoot his film about St Peter’s Seminary at Cardross, frame by frame. Grigor was originally asked to make Space and Light by the Arts Council of Great Britain when Jack Coia was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal in 1969. He is now hoping that he will win one of the six £30,000 Creative Scotland Awards. “I’m heavily dependent on winning a Creative Scotland Award as it will provide half of the cost of remaking the film,” he said. With a great deal of the interior of the building collapsed, Grigor will have to erect scaffolding to replicate the film shot for shot.
Grigor plans to show the original film, which bested a documentary about Le Corbusier at the Union of International Architects competition in Madrid in 1972, alongside the new film. “All along I was making films about architecture with music in them, and I didn’t realise it was art,” he said. Grigor hopes to have the original music, scored by the late Frank Spedding, former head of composition at RSAMD, played live during its screening.
In an attempt to play with the idea of the building’s ruined status, Grigor plans to shoot its degraded state in black and white. “The original is in colour so I hope that when they are played alongside each other, St Peter’s will look at least for a short while as if it has been resurrected,” said Grigor.
He is showing the original film in April at the National Gallery of Finland and he hopes to have the second film ready for the Gillespie Kidd and Coia exhibition at the Lighthouse, planned for June 2007. It will be curated by Mark Baines, of the Mackintosh School of Art, who believes that St Peter’s is “a pivotal moment” in the history of the practice. “It embodies all of their design principles; structural integration, sectional articulation and expressive fenestration to the best degree,” said Baines. “When other practices were doing rooms of skinny corridors, they achieved something unique.”

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