Page 7 of 7
Is that difficult for you? Is it more liberating, or is it also sort of like sacrificing part of your work?
I think at the moment of committing the subtractive act it's quite liberating, but it's not something that I'm especially rash about doing. There's caution about when that happens, but it is nice to free oneself of the thing that they were attached to or grew to recognize in the studio. Hacking something apart is very creative in a way because you used to have this one thing that you were mildly committed to and now you have five things that are fresh and could be used in any number of ways.
There's got to be some pleasure in that process of taking something that is really rigid and blowing it apart; is that something you feel as you're working, and is it something you're trying to evoke in the viewer?
I think there's pleasure and anxiety in disrupting something that presents itself as having an order, and I think that unease is something that I want to exist in the work and elicit in the viewer.
Do you reuse the parts you remove in other works?
I think in spirit I'm open to recycling the off-cuts back into other work. I think a lot of times it's problematic because it has this homogenizing effect where a feature of one work will show up in another and I think in the name of making a cohesive exhibition that's a very quick way to solve that problem, so I'm a little bit leery of doing it too much. But it definitely has happened.
There's a lot of containment in these works: certain forms are kind of wrapped, or emerging from other forms.
Yeah, I'm glad you brought that up because I think in approaching this there's been a balance between surface unto itself and surface that creates volume. And for me I'm trying to create a volume, something that blurred or at first glance is a shape that contains space inside of it, but constantly opening that up and emphasizing the surface almost as this immaterial, two-dimensional skin. So I think with a lot of these there is evidence of both of those things: this form and then this more open skin happening. I think sometimes that skin is woven through, and in other instances it's more of a wrapper going around a more dense core.
Right, there's a great deal of interiority to the work; you want to know what is in it, or how thick it is. You invariably want to look inside it.
For me the opposite was happening with the pedestals: when I was collecting these pieces of furniture the first thing I was doing was filling in all the cavities, so a lot of these actually had open spaces for what have you, books, etc. And so I really wanted to make this closed, a little bit less intriguing shape whereas the pieces up top are very about pushing inside of them and seeing through them and creating this more rich space.
(photos by Louis Gruber)