This cassette contains interviews with Sam Taylor-Wood, Tacita Dean, Chris Burden, dorothy Cross, Catherine Yass and others

Audio Arts: Volume 18 No 1 & 2, Side A – Chris Burden, Lillian Vincy

Audio Arts: Volume 18 No 1 & 2, Side B – Lillian Vincy, Hermann Nitsch

Audio Arts: Volume 18 No 1 & 2, Side C – Tacita Dean, Jane & Louise Wilson, Catherine Yass

Audio Arts: Volume 18 No 1 & 2, Side D – Sam Taylor-Wood, Dorothy Cross

1 of 2
  • Audio Arts Volume 18 No 1 & 2 inlay 2

    Inlay for Audio Arts Volume 18 No 1 & 2 published in 1999
    Archive reference: TGA200414/7/3 Volume 18 No 1 & 2

    © William Furlong

  • Audio Arts Volume 18 No 1 & 2 inlay 1

    Inlay for Audio Arts Volume 18 No 1 & 2 published in 1999
    Archive reference: TGA200414/7/3 Volume 18 No 1 & 2

    © William Furlong

Side A

  • 00:00:01: Chris Burden interviewed by Gray Watson
  • 00:25:29: Lillian Vincy interviewed by William Furlong

Chris Burden

While still a student, the Californian artist Chris Burden found his sculptures needed interaction with a human body to be complete. He soon went on, in the early 1970s, to create legendary performances which rank amongst the most extreme feats of physical endurance, and risk, ever undertaken in the context of art: for Shoot, he was shot in the arm; for Trans-fixed, he was crucified on a Volkswagen; for Through the Night Softly, he crawled almost naked across broken glass; for Velvet Water he breathed in water till he choked. There was nothing expressionist about these works, and his descriptions of them are coldly laconic. Rather, his attitude was always empirical: what would happen if…? Increasingly, his investigations have shifted from his own limits to the world at large. Special areas of interest have included war and weapons, types of transport (cars, trains and planes) and models or toys. The complex sculptural installation When Robots Rule: The Two-Minute Airplane Factory was created as a factory to produce model aeroplanes. The design of these was based on a model plane called the ‘Rise Off Ground’ or ‘R.O.G.’, available as a kit to be assembled by hand, a number of which Burden had used in earlier pieces. Burden had for some time speculated about replacing the slow manual labour involved in assembling these planes with a fully automated system, and an invitation from the Tate Gallery London, made this possible. The ‘factory’ can be seen, amongst other things, as a model of capitalist mass production techniques. Gray Watson spoke to Burden at the Tate Gallery just after the piece was installed in March 1999.

Interview by Gray Watson

Side B

  • 00:00:01: Lillian Vincy interviewed by William Furlong
  • 00:10:06: Hermann Nitsch interviewed by Gray Watson

Lillian Vincy

The Lara Vincy Gallery in Paris has for some time now, shown artists whose work makes reference to sound as well as to music, literature and poetry; particularly those artists associated with Fluxes principles. In this recording, Lillian Vincy acts as a guide for a walk around the gallery where thirteen works by Rolf Julius were installed. Eight of these were new sound pieces. The sound balances between the speakers in the gallery and the city traffic outside were set by the artist, creating a focus away from the external acoustic environment with its associated pace, to a more internal and slower reflective space. In order to hear the various sounds constructed by Julius, the listener had to move their ear into close proximity to the speakers, even using hands behind the ears so as to amplify the sound naturally. This enabled a more intimate appreciation of the densely layered and compressed sounds which the artist derives from the real world. Moving from piece to piece, the microphone becomes the listener’s ear by going up close to the sound cone of each speaker so as to gain access to the artist’s ‘quiet world’. After a while the relatively low volume level of each speaker invites the listener to intensify their ‘auditory gaze’, and as with looking at the word through a microscope, a whole new sensory depth of experience is revealed.

Interview by William Furlong

Hermann Nitsch

The interview is preceded by a two-minute extract from the following: Das-6-Tage-Spiel Des Orgien Mysterien Theaters.* Hermann Nitsch was one of the leading exponents of Viennese Actionism, along with Günter Brus, Otto Muehl and Rudolf Schwarzkogler. In the 1960s, these artists produced what were arguably the most extreme manifestations of performance art ever; and Nitsch’s art has remained remarkably consistent ever since. A major preoccupation has always been with the connections between violence and religion.  His actions have been characterised by the use of animal carcases, and the pouring of blood and intestines over members of his Orgies Mysteries Theatre. Nitsch has stated that all his work since he first became an artist should be seen as leading up to a six-day play – its duration referring to the time it took God to create the world – which finally took place in early August 1998, on the eve of his sixtieth birthday, at Schloss Prinzendorf, the grand and crumbling Baroque mansion north of Vienna which has been his home since 1975. Just over halfway through the event, he spoke to Gray Watson about the event itself and more generally about his art, his use of religious symbols and the importance of living life at full intensity.

Interview by Gray Watson

The final four-minute section of Das-6-Tage-Spiel Des Orgien Mysterien Theatersis heard after the interview. Edit from organ of corti 16 CD. Recorded by Fredrik Nilsen and Gary Todd. Copyright Cortical Foundation 1999. (Cortical Foundation is producing a series of CDs and LPs from the 6-day O.M. Theater. A multiple (signed edition of 30) is in preparation to include all the master tapes, photographic prints, and a relic from the 6-Day O.M. Theater. Cortical Foundation 23715 West Malibu Road, #419 Malibu CA. 90265. 

Side C

  • 00:00:01: Tacita Dean interviewed by Jean Wainwright
  • 00:20:03: Jane & Louise Wilson interviewed by Jean Wainwright
  • 00:31:44: Catherine Yass interviewed by Jean Wainwright

Tacita Dean

Tacita Dean discusses her work with Jean Wainwright in her studio. Her evocative images often fabricate reality, providing a sense of dislocation, blurring the boundaries between fact and fiction and weaving alternative histories. The conversation moves from Disappearance at Sea and the physical making of the work, to a discussion of Foley Artist, Delft Hydraulics and Trying to find the Spiral Jetty. Tacita’s fascination with sound, disorientation, fabrication and storytelling are constantly evoked. Donald Crowhurst’s web of deceit is cross-referenced to her sound installation, a pilgrimage to Robert Smithson’s elusive Spiral Jetty. Tacita loves the physicalness of sound, the dynamic between fabrication and authenticity, and its presence on a magnetic tape that can be contained and framed.

Interview by Jean Wainwright

 Jane & Louise Wilson

Relaxing on a sofa, Jane and Louise Wilson discuss their work Stasi City filmed in the abandoned buildings that once housed the G.D.R. intelligence service. Surveillance, clandestine activities, perception and a recurring theme of alienation all manifest themselves in this four-screen projection and photographic work. At the heart of Jane and Louise Wilson’s work is an indication of their similarities, their concepts of individuality and their notions of difference. Hypnotic Suggestion, Crawl Space and Normapaths are also discussed within the framework of altered perceptions, identity and the physical and psychological language of space.

Interview by Jean Wainwright

Catherine Yass

Catherine Yass claims that there is no such thing as an authentic photograph, adamant that once you stop thinking of photography as reality, ‘you can go anywhere with it’. Catherine discusses her work, predominantly portraiture, in terms of the scrutiny of power and institutions. She enjoys exploring architectural space and presenting us with illusions, inventing space with her positive and negative photograph manipulation. Stating that she wants to both deal with the institution and the language of photography, the resulting images are incandescent, the colours exquisite. Catherine discusses how power can be classified and shifted and the way that it circulates within a web of social relationships.

Interview by Jean Wainwright

Side D

  • 00:00:01: Sam Taylor-Wood interviewed by Jean Wainwright
  • 00:19:09: Dorothy Cross interviewed by Jean Wainwright

Sam Taylor-Wood

Sam Taylor-Wood likes to capture extreme emotions with her camera. Interviewed at home while still recovering from her operation, she discusses her working methods, confessing to working in a Warholian way ‘mostly with people she knows because she can demand more of them’. She describes the rationale behind such works as Sustaining the Crisis, Brontosaurus, Method in Madness and Hysteria. Claiming to enjoy the uncontrolled element of her work, the ‘not knowing exactly what is going to happen’ the double play of the real and the authentic is often enacted within the trope of the isolated film frame. Sam Taylor-Wood’s potent gaze records, achieving a transgression between public and private, the audience viewing the work operates in a magnetised space, left with a lust to know more.

Interview by Jean Wainwright

Dorothy Cross

Dorothy Cross’s work embraces history, the surreal and controversial, allegories metaphors and the psychological. Interviewed in her studio in Dublin, she begins by discussing her current work GHOSTSHIP, a poignant reclaiming of the once invaluable lightships, ‘like Richard Serra’s with a history and a heart’ which were used to guard the rocks in Dublin Bay. The ships reinvention as ghost, its eerie glow is a ‘simple idea’ movingly evoked. Loss and recovery are recurrent themes, as are inheritance, authority, personal memory and containment. Her Holy Bible is only complete when a perfect hole has been drilled into it, her mother’s precious teacup became a receptacle for a video work, featuring a battle with the elemental sea; Kiss produces a result so fragile that the sculptures themselves are often destroyed as they leave the mouth. Dorothy’s Udder series allows her to make Freudian connections between the nipple and penis. Dorothy wants her work to be exciting and disquieting, her interview captures her enormous enthusiasm, and concludes with a discussion of a work in progress, Chiasm, an installation in a handball alley, which oscillates between extreme love and extreme loss.

Interview by Jean Wainwright