It has been especially successful at attracting attention overseas, exporting its talents and its art to galleries across the world. This month it takes this internationalism a little further, and will stage a small invasion of another city. Berlin, no less.
On the weekend of September 19-22, the German capital will rattle to the sounds of Glasgow bands, DJs and musicians, play host to artists and curators, and provide a stage for Glasgow-based dance, music, design and more. Prominent names are involved: there will be a new work by Douglas Gordon, a gig from Franz Ferdinand, and new art from Richard Wright and David Shrigley. The three-day festival, simply titled The Glasgow Weekend, coincides with Berlin Art Week 2013 and the ABC (Art Berlin Contemporary) Art Week. The events of the weekend are contained in a compact geographical space, held in venues in and around the Volksbuehne Theatre on Linienstraße, which is just starting its season, and the BQ gallery, who are based across the street. A glass pavilion outside the Voksbuehne will also be a gallery. Shrigley is exhibiting new sculptural works in BQ, while an apartment above the gallery will also see art curated and from Glasgow.
The Glasgow Weekend has been put together by Glasgow School of Art academic and curator Dr Sarah Lowndes, who is also the author of a key text on the Glasgow art scene, Social Sculpture.
It is not an event that is suddenly being visited upon Berlin. The artistic and personal links between Glasgow and Berlin are strong and vibrant. Douglas Gordon lives there, as does fellow Turner Prize winner Susan Philipsz, and so does GSA graduate Jonathan Monk. The BQ represent Shrigley, Richard Wright and Andrew Kerr, and have been coming to Glasgow for some time, and indeed Glasgow's influential Modern Institute share some of the same artists. "There has been a bit of a cross-current, a friendship," Dr Lowndes says, "And so when the Volksbuehne had this concept of the BQ taking over the theatre, they also had this idea of the Glasgow Weekend - next year it will be the Helsinki Weekend - and they asked me if I would like to get involved." It has taken six or seven rather frantic months for Dr Lowndes, along with BQ, to put the eclectic and packed schedule together. "We wanted some of the best known Glasgow people involved - so there is Franz Ferdinand, Douglas Gordon, David Shrigley, Richard Wright - but equally I wanted people like Ashanti Harris and Romany Dear, and these young galleries like David Dale and The Duchy, so we have both established and emerging people there."
The David Dale Gallery is exhibiting work by three Glasgow based artists, Marie-Michelle Deschamps, Ciara Phillips and Sarah Wright, alongside selections curated by The Duchy and Dr Lowndes as part of a trio of exhibitions entitled Valise. The Friday will see several performances, including Raydale Dower's recreation of a Weimer era experiment, playing eight copies of Beethoven's 5th on eight turntables at different speeds, while in another show, Torsten Lauschmann and Wright will present a new collaboration on piano and guitar. Jamie Bolland and Dower will also present some of their own musique concrete, while Keith McIvor and Jonnie Wilkes of Optimo will also perform.
Friday's night will also see that performance by Franz Ferdinand. The next day sees the premiere of Silence, Exile, Deceit, the new work from Gordon, described as an "industrial pantomime" using blinding lights and darkness. Lauschmann, the same day, will show At the Heart of Everything a Row of Holes, a site-specific cinematic performance in the theatre's main auditorium. Elsewhere, publications will be launched, a barbecue will be eaten, and specially designed merchandise unveiled - T Shirts and bags designed by Richard Wright, and flags and banners by Shrigley and Wright for the theatre. Meanwhile the glass pavilion will show works by Tony Swain, Andrew Kerr, Gregor Wright and Richard Wright, a neon sign from Optimo, and new sculptural work by Hayley Tompkins.
"It is quite an occupation, really," Dr Lowndes says, "and an amazing opportunity, because the Volksbuehne is one of the most important theatres in Germany and the whole building is used constantly. People keep their eye on it as a cultural centre in Berlin, so to have this opportunity to go there and showcase all this work is very exciting, and it will be really interesting for the Berlin audience to experience this little slice of Glasgow, its music, its art, and its design."
The presence of Franz Ferdinand, one imagines, may draw Berliners into the mini festival, and the band themselves were eager to take part, riding on a pleasant high from the positive reviews for their new album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.
Dr Lowndes says: "This is really exciting, their new album is critically acclaimed. For them, they were really interested to do this project even though ordinarily they would be playing a much bigger venue, but they were interested because the Volksbuhne was the first place outside the UK that they played when they were starting out.
"Then they played in smaller room, and now they are on the big stage, which is a beautiful Art Deco theatre that seats 900 people. For me, Franz Ferdinand were essential to the project: there is nobody like them, that has that sense of performance, humour, style, music, fashion and art, and bringing it all together."
The new film work by Douglas Gordon was shot in Essen, in a former coke-processing plant, using experts in pyrotechnics, with collaborations from an opera singer, and the artist's daughter. "It is quite amazing," Dr Lowndes says, and she adds: "His whole importance to the scene cannot be underestimated, he spends time between Glasgow and Berlin and to a certain extent is a facilitator of some of those conversations between the two cities. There is certainly an exchange there: and it is one we are celebrating."