Monday, 12 July 2010


'Zoltan' from Unity Larry Young


As I said before the work is moving into a slightly different direction… Instead of thinking of each drawing as a singular entity, I’m starting to think of them as communities of marks. A couple of years ago I came across the work of Anna Maiolino. With a portfolio of politically engaging work (from the 70’s onwards), Maiolino’s current practice plays with the dynamic between subjectivity and the collective.

Among Many Anna Maiolino

That constant tension between the whole and the singular intrigues and frustrates me. Historically artists are one of those entities; uncompromising, totally single minded and alone in their vision. Yet during the last 50 years all this has been challenged, from the Brazilian (neo concrete) artists of the 60’s to today. Now the conversation is about the level of participation and authorship to be shared.

I spent a long time agonising over what kind of Participatory artist I was, reading articles and books by the likes of Clare Bishop (Participation) and David Beech (Include Me Out). These critiques sheered off the utopian veneer and interrogated the intentions of the artist. I myself have dabbled within the participatory realm - what were my drives? - Loneliness, alienation towards the art world and simple working class guilt. In the end that ‘public’ out there (whoever they are) were fast becoming a fiction, and when I met the reality I was often disappointed. Although it’s a lonelier process, that control over ones ‘product’ is consolation for the lack of control anywhere else. As I said from the outset, these issues are still very pertinent, but now the guilt is gone and the medium has changed...

Animation sketch 2010