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Stirling Bridge Referendum of 2061
Ross Sinclair was born in Glasgow in 1966. He attended Glasgow School of Art
(Environmental Art Department) between 1984 and 1990, and
Masters in Fine Arts 1992; he also attended California Institute of
the Arts in 1992. Fan Club at the Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, in 1991 was his
first solo exhibition and he has continued to exhibit regularly. In 1997 he
had a solo show at Mercer Union, Toronto. . Since 1995 Sinclair has been a
part-time lecturer at Glasgow School of Art (Environmental Art Department).
He lives and works in Glasgow.
Sinclair as an essayist wrote Scotland - "A Brief and Fractured
Introduction to the History of the Period 1983-2083,". Glasgow-born Sinclair
tells of a semi-fictitious Scotland of the future in which the people have
voted for independent them park status. The history of the theme park
development is outlined in the essay, which mentions events like the
Stirling Bridge Referendum of 2061, when Scotland seceded from the United
Kingdom and in 2062 opens of "Scotia-The Living History of a Small Nation."
In Scotia, each area of the country would adopt and enact the look and
lifestyle of a certain era in Scottish history.
Sinclair wrote "the Scottish people appeared to be quite happy in
their new occupation as Real Life extras in this simulated version of
history. Scotland became very successful and prosperous and everyone agreed
that re-inventing itself as a theme park had been a really great idea.
Everything was free for the Scottish people, although tourists paid frankly
outrageous prices just to breathe the same air as the Scots. From the
outside it might have seemed like a bit of an odd situation: the Scottish
people were basically providing a service for these tourists while achieving
just about the same standard of living as them. But the Scots were tied to
this way of life in the theme park. They could never go home to somewhere
real or do a normal job-it was twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week."
The outrageous essay describes with some detail the particulars, both
cultural and political, of the new/old nation. He concludes that "...the
future always seems too fantastic to believe before it actually happens. I
mean, who could have believed the incredible history of the twentieth
Century if you'd foretold it in 1899?"
The essay's 'Epilogue' ends with, "thus, as is was in Real Life, it is in
the theme park... People gather illegally on their days off from working in
the theme park, ...desperate to see something new a real and engaging. For
although the park is fascinating to the tourists, it is, of course, very
boring for those who live and work there."
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