Burgin Chapter 11

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S.R. Maybe I go a little bit further with another question. ... I wanted to ask you: How do you see the return of conceptual surfaces and the contemporary fashion of »retro« styles? Maybe that's another perspective on the same issue...

V.B. What do you mean by "conceptual surfaces"? You mean the appearances of conceptual // S.R. Exactly // art, the style?

S.R. Exactly what you described that you see a lot of work some interesting, some less but the thinking, the is very pure and sometimes I think it's just the surface ... sometimes I have the feeling that the students or young artists just flip through catalogues of the end of the sixties, beginning of the seventies and then they have an idea and they make a painting on a wall, really big, and that's a painting, nice colours. // V.B. that's right //That could be one example. Or maybe, I don't say this for the film, I interviewed (??), do you know him? From Los Angeles. He often explained that anything of works of Robert Smithson, of Donald Judd, something like that is just like a designer, he's taking parts of the installations ... for example Smithson, the idea of side and non-side is not just you have an open space with some earth or some ground and you put some rocks inside a gallery and then you have an art side, for me it's much more like an epistemological model // V.B. Yes // and he is just playing with the elements // V.B. Yes // and this I call it, forgive me, but I just call it "conceptual surfaces" // V.B. Yes // and so I wanted to emphasize what you said in your last answer. How do you see this return of conceptual surfaces? Or you can also come from the other question: contemporary fashion of retro-styles, its only a style, it's not the epistemological move.

S.R. So I think I have only one more question for this set. ... What is your ideal and typical daily work as an artist?

V.B. Ideal and typical, those are totally different. (laughs) Those require totally separate different answers.

S.R. Maybe a little bit in respect to the supposed title of the film "Conceptual Paradise" // V.B. "Conceptual Paradise"? // S.R. Yes. // V.B. Ah! //

V.B. Yes. Well, this is supposed to be the amusing answer that gives the audience some kind of compensation for the seriousness of what came before: I think my paradise would be like every one else's paradise I think one would beginning by removing George Bush and Tony Blair from office, that's for sure (smiles), and Charles Saatchi would have never happened to Britain (smiles) or ???. That would be the beginnings of establishing heaven on Earth, you begin by clearing out... But ... »typical«? It's quite simply: each work is researched and so for each work, as I'm move into each work, it's preceded by a lot of research so that a typical day is involved in doing that research. So the research then becomes the foundation for the work, but very little of it goes in the work itself. But it provides the ground, it provides a firm foundation for the work to be constructed on But then the work of construction - the work of research is easy, it can be quite gratifying, you know I can find the resources, I can do the readings or I can visit places or I can take photographic records, I can start to construct knowledge of what I'm working on. I mean, to be less abstract: right at this moment I'm working on a piece for a show in New York next year where the research consists in informing myself about the Chase-Schindler's house, so-called Kings Road House in Los Angeles, build by Rudolph Schindler between 1920 and 1921; and at the same time researching into and around the early an early to mid-18th century French erotic novella, in which architecture figures prominently. You know, two different times of research: I get to L.A. to photograph the house and in libraries in Paris researching the background of the novella. That's kind of easy to do but then I think the difficult thing begins with the construction on that foundation, because one begins with the intuition here – two items which have nothing to do with each other in a certain way and yet seem to have something to do with each other, and the process of working is a process of my finding out what they have in common –  for me –  or at least making a construct in which they have something in common in the work even though they have nothing in common in reality. ... That's, if you like, a typical day, if I leave out the usual things like having breakfast and, you know....

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