THERE is more to come, but the first announcement of the content of the programme for Glasgow’s biennial art show, Glasgow International (GI), which arrives in April 2018, lacks a show I’d like to see.

By that I mean one like Kim Wilde’s Heart of Darkness by New Zealander Tahi Moore, described five years ago as that nation’s “best-kept secret”. This is the first of his latest video, sculpture and text installations to be seen in the UK and takes the inspiration for its title from Joseph Conrad and the singer’s 1981 hit Cambodia, where synth-pop breeziness disguised the story of a USAF widow whose husband has been lost in the Vietnam War.

The exhibition includes new video works created through a residency at Hospitalfield in Arbroath which was funded by the Royal Over-Seas League as part of a partnership the invites artists from the Commonwealth to make work in the UK, and it is on show until the end of the year at the Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool.

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That venue is the reason I thought it might have been part of the announcement that the new director of GI, Richard Parry, made at St Luke’s in Glasgow’s east end at the beginning of this week, because it is where he worked before he took up the job as GI’s fourth director since it began in 2005.

Parry’s trajectory north, from the Hayward on London’s South Bank to Blackpool and now to Glasgow, is a journey that might raise the hackles of people who become upset – sometimes abusively so – about non-Scots appointed to positions of power and responsibility in the arts in Scotland, and who invariably don’t notice the number of Scots in positions of power and responsibility in the arts in London and elsewhere in the UK.

That may be why Parry seemed a little ill-at-ease in front of a room full of artists and people who work with them for his first major public announcement. Or it may just be his customary diffident manner. A suave Serota he is not, and many folk may

be quite happy with that.

Parry has not had long to get to know his new city, far less programme his first festival, having only been appointed in April, although he did inherit a few building blocks for 2018 from his predecessor, the director of the 2014 and 2016 programmes, Sarah McCrory. He was very keen to credit the work done by all his predecessors, mention all the event’s “stakeholders” and ensure us that art was present in the sinews of the city, which is a nice image that no-one was about to gainsay. So also describing Glasgow as “the capital of non-London art” was probably a less fortuitous turn of phrase.

And while it is true that the format of GI has been “magical”, its best trick has been to come up with new illusions in each incarnation. It is not unfair to say we did not really hear this week what those might be next April.

I look forward very much to Glasgow School of Art graduate Rosie O’Grady’s response to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, as her own degree show introduced a live camel into his most famous building (for very sound historical reasons) a year before it was destroyed by fire. She also won a Hospitalfield residency, as part of her graduation garlands. Her name having Joycian associations (did her parents know the late Victorian song?) is another bonus.

I am also very keen to see Graham Eatough and Stephen Sutcliffe’s No End to Enderby, co-commissioned by GI and marking the centenary of the birth of writer Anthony Burgess this year – it closed a month ago in his birthplace, Manchester, at the excellent Whitworth.

But promises to nod towards the Scottish Government-designated Year of Young People and something to celebrate the new European Championships in Glasgow may tick boxes with the stakeholders, but for the moment they hardly speak of

the “urgency” to make and show new art that Parry says he so admires in Glasgow.

Visit glasgowinternational.org