This cassette, recorded at documenta 11, contains interviews with  Carolee Schneemann, Ann-Sofi Siden, Liesbeth & Angelique Raeven, Jules Olitski, Charlemagne Palestine, Do-Ho Suh, Matthew Collings, Laerry Poons, Mona Hatoum, On Kawara and Wolfgang Tillmans

Audio Arts: Volume 20 No 4 & Volume 21 No 1 Side A – Shirin Neshat, Zarina Bhimji, Mona Hatoum, On Kawara, Chantal Akerman and Tania Bruguera

Audio Arts: Volume 20 No 4 & Volume 21 No 1 Side B – Christian Boltanski, Wolfgang Tillmans, Marta Marcé, Sune Nordgren

Audio Arts: Volume 20 No 4 & Volume 21 No 1 Side C – Charlemagne Palestine, Do-Ho Suh, Matthew Collings, Larry Poons

Audio Arts: Volume 20 No 4 & Volume 21 No 1 Side D – Carolee Schneemann, Ann-Sofi Siden, Liesbeth & Angelique Raeven, Jules Olitski

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  • Audio Arts Volume 20 No 4 and Volume 21 No 1 inlay 1
    Inlay for Audio Arts Volume 20 No 3 and Volume 21 No 1 published in 2002
    Archive reference: TGA200414/7/3 Volume 20 No 3 and Volume 21 No 1
  • Audio Arts Volume 20 No 4 and Volume 21 inlay 2
    Inlay for Audio Arts Volume 20 No 3 and Volume 21 No 1 published in 2002
    Archive reference: TGA200414/7/3 Volume 20 No 3 and Volume 21 No 1
  • Audio Arts Volume 20 No 4 and Volume 21 No 1 inlay 3
    Inlay for Audio Arts Volume 20 No 4 and Volume 21 No 1 published in 2002
    Archive reference: TGA200414/7/3 Volume 20 No 4 nd Volume 21 No 1
  • Audio Arts Volume 20 No 4 and Volume 21 No 1 inlay 4
    Inlay for Audio Arts Volume 20 No 3 and Volume 21 No 1 published in 2002
    Archive reference: TGA200414/7/3 Volume 20 No 3 and Volume 21 No 1
  • Audio Arts Volume 20 No 4 and Volume 21 No 1 inlay 5
    Inlay for Audio Arts Volume 20 No 3 and Volume 21 No 1 published in 2002
    Archive reference: TGA200414/7/3 Volume 20 No 3 and Volume 21 No 1

documenta 11

Kassel, Germany

Introduction: from an interview with Charles Esche in Kassel:

The overall vision is extremely interesting – the concentration on documentary and on a reflection of real existing social, economic and political conditions is very clear. It emerges in the vision of the curators to want to bring the very local and specific aspects of the global situation to Kassel… The thing I miss is the most contemporary, exciting element of art and that is the way artists are starting to make proposals for change, starting to re-capture in a small scale, local, modest way an idea of a utopian proposition. The reflection of the world, the contemplation of the conditions of the world, very precisely orchestrated and very precisely focused on specific incidents is excellent I think’ What would be nice is then to take that reflection and imagine what could happen - to add possibility to reflection…

Side A

  • 00:00:01: Shirin Neshat interviewed by William Furlong
  • 00:12:33: Zarina Bhimji interviewed by William Furlong
  • 00:28:50: Mona Hatoum installation activity and interviewed by William Furlong
  • 00:41:20: On Kawara performance
  • 00:42:23: Chantal Akerman interviewed by William Furlong
  • 00:53:10: Tania Bruguera interviewed by William Furlong

Shirin Neshat

The recording starts with an extract from Shirin Neshat’s film, Tuba, a two-screen work presented in the Fredricianum at documenta 11. The artist then talks about her desire to create the same resonance and power in this film as in previous works, but without using the specific cultural iconography of the veil. She goes on to speak about the structuring of the film, the choreography of movements across the open landscape and the associated mythologies and juxtapositions of meaning that she is exploring. Neshat speaks finally about the film being determined as much by visual decisions as by narrative or filmic structures.

Interview by William Furlong (documenta 11, June 2002)

 Zarini Bhimji

Preceded with a section of the soundtrack from Zarina Bhimji’s film, Out of Blue, the artist reflects on this work which metaphorically explores the autobiographical references of an early childhood spent in Uganda and as a member of an Asian family expelled by Idi Amin’s regime in 1972. Her work contains a highly charged sequence of atmospheric images that are potent because of the ways in which they evoke a sense of absence, loss, erasure, and the trace of suffering. She films interiors which were torture chambers, military barracks, police cells, airport terminal buildings and control tower at Entebbe. The textures and surfaces of the walls of the now functionless buildings, she likens to those of human skin, and goes on to emphasise the importance of sound in her film as an imaginative equivalent to language. The interview ends with a continuation of the soundtrack of Out of Blue.

Interview by William Furlong (documenta 11, June 2002)

Mona Hatoum

Mona Hatoum’s work, Home Bound, installed in the Fridericianum at documenta 11 in a more confined space than when it was shown in the Duveen Gallery at Tate Britain, comprised an assemblage of domestic paraphernalia and Fifties style furniture. A live electric wire connected to bulbs ran through the metallic kitchen utensils turning objects that under normal circumstances would be harmless, into lethal objects representing a risk to anyone who touched or used them. The amplified sound of the surging electrical current can be heard during the conversation. The artist discusses the metaphorical meanings in the work and its title which derives its ambiguity from the multiple interpretations of the term, home bound. These include homeward bound, as in a journey to a place of refuge and security, or home bound or house bound where the home represents a set of restrictions or a trap. In 1975, the artist left Beirut, where she had grown up as the daughter of Palestinians living in exile. The work draws metaphorically on these references and on her consequent ambivalence to the relationships between home, household, family and identity.

Interview by William Furlong (documenta 11, June 2002)

On Kawara

Extract from a reading by performers of the On Kawara’s epic work One Million Years (Past & Future).

Chantal Akerman

From The Other Side, Chantal Akerman’s project for documenta 11, comprised 18 TV monitors installed within a space in the Fridericianum. The footage on the monitor screens, some of which was archival, was shot in the US-Mexican border region and concerned the plight of the many thousands who attempt to migrate northwards and who even at night are hunted down by ranchers and the Border Patrol with infrared sensing devices. As well as being a work of social engagement, Akerman insists that it is also a work of metaphysical and philosophical intentions. She goes on to describe the trigger for the work as being the term used by the ranchers and local press in describing the ‘illegals’ as ‘dirt’. This had a profound resonance in relation to her own history as a Jew, where the term dirt or dirty was used to describe the Jewish community in Germany during the war years.

Interview by William Furlong (documenta 11, June 2002)

Tania Bruguera

Visitors were confronted with a blinding light as they entered the space containing Tania Bruguera’s work, Untitled (Kassel), in the Binding Brewery at documenta 11. This was combined with the aggressive percussive sounds of a performer marching across a wooden platform and the metallic sounds of a rifle being assembled and dissembled. Because of the light and its effect on a person’s vision, the disorientation caused by the work stays with you after you’ve left it and re-entered the ‘real world’. In this installation-performance Bruguera – whose Cuban origin is fundamental responsibility in situations of war or political conflict, past and present, where the individual may or may not have the opportunity to see or know what is going on. This sensorial piece creates a sense of fear or threat and is physically unsettling, forcing the viewer to redefine their own physical orientation whilst being affected by the socio-political implications of the work.

Interview by William Furlong (documenta 11, June 2002)

Side B

  • 00:00:01: Christian Boltanski interviewed by William Furlong
  • 00:17:47: Wolfgang Tillmans interviewed by Rachel Withers
  • 00:40:09: Marta Marcé interviewed by William Furlong
  • 00:48:22: Sune Nordgren interviewed by Rachel Withers

Christian Boltanski

Christian Boltanski was interviewed during his exhibition Les Abonnés du Téléphone at the South London Gallery. The recording opens and closes with extracts from the sound works where voices read from South London area telephone directories. Boltanski begins by expressing his desire to speak the names of everyone on earth, to have a sense of the quantity of individual identities in the world; this work is symbolic of that feeling. He talks about his aim to ask questions of his viewer and to move them with the work and his investigation into the fragility of identity and memory. Boltanski expresses his desire that the viewer completes the work, by seeing their story reflected in the piece much in the way that Proust’s writing works. He goes on to discuss the theme of childhood and the time in which he was able to recognise that his childhood was gone as being the point at which he could begin to create. The interview also discusses the importance of the time one lives in, how he did not intend to address the holocaust in his work but that he found himself in that post-utopian time ‘without hope’, and that also ‘it is marvellous to forget’.

Interview by Jean Wainwright (March 2002)

Wolfgang Tillmans

Wolfgang Tillmans gave this interview at his installation at Interim Art earlier this year. The conversation begins with a discussion of Tillmans’ decision to present his work as an installation rather than as individual photographs. He then expands into a broader dialogue on scale, abstraction, meaning and representation in photography, and the importance of these ideas for his work. He talks about the viewer’s expectations of the representational reality of photography, and how he has played with that within genres such is documentary, fashion and still life to create a ‘matter of fact’ approach to notions of beauty and seeing. Tillmans goes on to talk about some of the subjects of his portraiture. The interview ends with his video work, which he thought of six years ago and finally made for this show. Interview by Jean Wainwright (March 2002).

Marta Marcé

In this interview recorded at Blains Fine Art in London, Spanish artist Marta Marcé speaks about her paintings in this group show. She describes her working process and the underlying reasons for the selection of the formal elements in her painting. She uses pre-determined systems that allow her to ‘jump to the unexpected’, or ‘to the unknown’. The visual geometric systems she initially employs in a painting often make reference to game board structures which are then subverted, or as she puts it, ‘jumped off from’, to facilitate ‘free interventions’. The game board also offers a metaphor for social and political structures where pre-determined systems and rules can be challenged by the individual, bringing to them their own ideas and interpretations. In this sense Marcé’s paintings could be read as exploring the tensions of the social process as experienced at the moment, where the individual is often struggling against restrictive social and cultural orthodoxies in order to establish and maintain an identity.

Interview by William Furlong (May 2002)

Sune Nordgren

The Baltic, in Gateshead, opened its doors at one minute past midnight on 13 July 2002, with 5,000 people awaiting entry in the adjoining square. A few days later Sune Nordgren speaks about the opening period of the Baltic, and the level of interest and volume of visitors, both of which ‘wildly exceeded his expectations’. In describing the Baltic as an ‘art factory’, he goes on to discuss his vision for the project and its orientation in relation to Scandinavia and continental Europe, in addition to the usual London axis. In doing so he points out the strong transport and cultural connections that exist between Newcastle and Sweden and other Scandinavian locations. He finally speaks about the exciting opportunities of having a ‘clean sheet’ to work with at the Baltic, and the affection people have in the North East for the Baltic building which was originally a flour mill.

Interview by William Furlong (July 2002)

Side C

  • 00:00:01: Charlemagne Palestine interviewed by William Furlong
  • 00:17:40: Do-Ho Suh interviewed by Jean Wainwright
  • 00:34:05: Matthew collings interviewed by Jean Wainwright
  • 00:48:07: Larry Poons interviewed by Jean Wainwright

Charlemagne Palestine

Pingmingding was the title of Charlemagne Palestine’s solo exhibition at the Laura Vincy Gallery in Paris in April/May 2002. The artist first made a name for himself as a musician in New York and, from the late 1960s, as a creator of musical minimalist compositions, based on duration, repetition and harmonic sound functions. By 1970, on discovering the Bosendorfer piano, he was inspired to start a series of musical forms known as ‘strumming music’ – improvised repetitive tones inducing a sort of trance among the audience. Here he walks around the gallery discussing a body of works which draw on the aura or totem-like quality of small soft toys which are arranged in a series of tableaux. In the first piece discussed titled Indigo, dedicated to Albert Schweitzer a small cow plays a toy organ, the sounds of which can be heard faintly on the tape. The interview proceeds and is followed by an extract from a performance by the artist on the Bosendorfer Imperial, from the CD edition Charlemagne at Sonnabend, 2001.

Interview by William Furlong (April 2002)

Do-Ho Suh

Do-Ho Suh gave this interview during his solo show at the Serpentine Gallery. The conversation begins with a description of floor work with thousands of figures supporting the glass on which the viewers walk. Suh speaks about the power of the collective, personal space and individual identity as being important issues for all the works in the exhibition. He expands on some of the motivations, such as his experience as a schoolchild in Korean ‘mass games’ where each member of a crowd holds up a card and an image appears, such as the portrait of the president. Suh talks about the work Someone, shown at the Venice Biennale last year, explaining that the figure is modelled on the US army jacket liner rather than an ancient Korean costume as many viewers assume. The interview develops to discuss Suh’s personal history and the influence of his geographic relocations between Korea and New York in his work The Perfect Home.

Interview by Jean Wainwright (April 2002)

Matthew Collings

Interviewed about the exhibition, Art Crazy Nation, which he curated at Milton Keynes Gallery, Matthew Collings discusses his role as a populariser of art and his own more engaged interest beyond ‘glamorous fashionability’. With this as the central idea, the conversation concentrates on different artists in the show such as Darren Phizacklea and Rory Macbeth and their investigation of an art world infrastructure. As well as the aspect of the ‘in joke’, Collings explains that there is death and loveliness in every room and that the positioning of the artworks within the show (by artists such as Simon Linke and Alan Kane) has been done in relation to questions of fashionability and un-fashionability. Collings contends that there are connections between all the works in the show, making links between the older and younger artists, and whilst the theme is serious it also has its amusing side. 

Interview by Jean Wainwright (January 2002)

Larry Poons

Larry Poons gave this interview at the time of his show at Bernard Jacobson Gallery this year, some thirty years since the American painter’s last show in the UK. The interview discusses the categorisation of his work, the history of his practice and the new pieces in the show. He goes into detail about his materials, working process and philosophy of painting. In characteristically forthright fashion he talks about the ‘struggle’ of being an artist, the art world then and now and what he considers it takes to be a great artist. The interview is full of wonderful pronouncements on the nature of artistic process and painting.

Interview by Jean Wainwright (June 2002)

Side D

  • 00:00:01: Carolee Schneemann interviewed by Gray Watson
  • 00:17:14: Ann-Sofi Sidén interviewed by Jean Wainwright
  • 00:29:00: Liesbeth & Angelique Raeven interviewed by Gray Watson
  • 00:46:34: Jules Olitski interviewed by Jean Wainwright

Carolee Schneemann

Carolee Schneemann gave this interview at the time of her participation in A short History of Performance at the Whitechapel Gallery. The interview begins by discussing the re-enactment of her 1964 performance Meat Joy and issues entailed in re-creating a performance some thirty years later. Schneemann talks about particular moments, details that rooted the original performance in the 60s and similar signifiers that will anchor the present re-enactment to this time. The Interview discusses the ‘meat’ aspect of the work and her motivations for using chicken, fish and sausages in the performance. Schneemann then relates her work to the history of painting making the connection through a sense of materiality and her particular aesthetic, going on to discuss her relationship to poetic language and her anarchic philosophical relationship to animals – cats in particular.

Interview by Gray Watson (April2002)

Ann-Sofi Sidén

Ann-Sofi Sidén gave this interview during her exhibition Warte Mal! (Hey Wait) at the Hayward Gallery in London. Sidén, invited to make work in the red-light district for a show in Amsterdam, chose to go to the Czech Republic to explore issues around prostitution and pornography after the fall of Communism. In the interview, Sidén talks of her own interviews and encounters while in Dubi, a small town on the Czech-German border, the people she met and her process of translating these experiences into video work and in turn an exhibition. Sidén discusses the personal content of the works, artistic mediums (video, sound and writing) and how she constructed the flow of the show. The recording also features extracts from the artist’s diary of the trip.

nterview by Jean Wainwright (January 2002)

Liesbeth and Angelique Raeven

Dutch artists L.A. Raeven (Liesbeth and Angelique Raeven), are twin sisters who work together as artists. They talk here during their show Wild Zone 1 & 2 at the ICA, London, of their history, their childhood, their differing educations (medical and fashion), their self-imposed separation from each other and ultimately how they began to work together. They discuss the ideas that form the foundation of their work – the body, genetics and notions of ideal physical type and how they collaborated with very different approaches to the subjects. The conversation covers the specifics of the work shown in the exhibition as well as their approach to the art world more generally.

Interview by Gray Watson (February 2002)

Jules Olitski

Jules Olitski was interviewed in his exhibition at Bernard Jacobson Gallery. He opens by talking about his philosophy of artistic expression and the different visions that his work has travelled through over the years. Olitski recounts his making and theorising process, and how important it is for him to please himself with his work without staking grand claims for it. Responding to Greenberg’s quote that he was ‘the greatest living painter’, he talks about the challenge that presented and how he feels that he is part of an active tradition of painting. Olitski tells the anecdote of how he became the first living artist to show at the Metropolitan and the ensuing furore. In the context of his statement, ‘Expect nothing. Do your work. Celebrate’, the interview then focuses on his current work and his painting process, equating it to love-making. He concludes by talking about his new figurative and landscape works.

Interview by Jean Wainwright (March 2002)