Barry Chapter 6

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S.R. So I think this was the whole range of questions and I think you did very well focusing on specific aspects. And I'm little bit worried about the beginning as you were talking, starting talking very interesting about the concept of... the term of Conceptual art didn't really interest you, wasn't very touching you in the beginning...

R.B. Well, let me just say this: When I was working, I didn't know the term Conceptual art, nobody was using that term. When I first met Seth Siegelaub or Lawrence Weiner, when I was making my work the way I made it, I never heard the term Conceptual art. I don't really know, when I first heard it, but when I first heard it, I was already doing what I was doing. When I met Weiner and Kosuth, I was already doing what I was doing. I never liked the term Conceptual art anyway; I never liked any term ... because I didn't want to be boxed-in. Suppose I decided I wanted to change and do sth. else then I would always be known as a conceptual artist and not be able to break out; because people have a way of identifying you with one thing and as soon as you do something else, they immediately don't like it. And in fact this is true. I've heard criticism saying, Barry is not as interesting as he was ten years ago when he was really doing good conceptual work and now his work is very decorative and is not exciting any more. This is the problem. I don't care really what people, what critics thinks anyway, but I knew that this is going to be a problem, that people will focus on and identify you with a certain way of thinking about art. And as soon as you change and want to go into a different direction... When I was making paintings, I got a lot of criticism from some of my friends. And they said: You have read Kosuth, you know what he thinks about painting; when I made painting it was like I was a traitor. But I thought of painting as something different ... I made paintings because I thought my paintings were very different from everybody else's; I just used paint because it was what I needed to use to do what I wanted to do in those days. If this is what I had to do to make my work, it's what I did. And I did it for about ten years and then I stopped and I haven't made any paintings for three or four years now, because I do sth. else which satisfies my expressing my ideas, so I don't have to paint. However, there may come some time when you have to paint anyway. The thing about painting is that it's constant; people have been painting for at least 40.000 years. There are paintings on caves, 40.000 years old. Painting isn't going to be dead in one year; it's always going to be there, it's always there in the background and will always be there. There is something very universal about it. I'm not going to fight with other people; if I don't need it I don't use it. But if, in the future I should have to paint something, I will.

S.R. I'm really looking forward to see your videos...

R.B. I will show one or two here; one at a time. When they get screen set up. I hope, by Wednesday. ... And then I'm showing videos in Germany, in Hamburg in March at Sfeir Semler.... next year; I'm showing them in New York in October... where I show old paintings and new videos; paintings from 64, 65, and... new videos. I like this idea of showing old work with new work; in the 80s, I did a series of works called »Diptychs« where I would take an old work, old drawing or painting and hang it next to a new painting; so there might be 20 or 25 years difference between the two works, and that space, half a meter or a meter wide, would represent 25 years; ... they didn't have anything to do with each other except that they were made by the same artist. I did a series of works like that which I showed in New York and London and in Paris; And I like that series. Eventually I ran out of old works that you want to include, so I stopped doing this because I wanted to save my old works. The idea of showing something old with something very new and have that distance; in room of the gallery you have paintings from 64 or 65 and in the next room you have a video from 2003, when you cross that line of time, which I think is kind of interesting for me; it's the idea of juxtaposition of these two and the time and space between them. That's interesting to me and that's why I'm doing this exhibition.

S.R. Thank you very much, it was a pleasure. You got some really interesting ideas ... I think this is what I wanted to know – this time, not all the time.


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