I’m Cosey Fanni Tutti and I’ve been working in music and art since 1969. All my work is experiential, it’s all from life. That is the thing that really brings everything together, is that it’s taken from my life and my observation and assimilation of things that have happened to me and the people around me and the world basically. The aesthetic is important visually and there’s a different kind of aesthetic for me in music and it’s all down to emotion in music for me, but having said that, I do think in colours when I do music funnily enough. I quite often have a visual image in my mind. If you look at Cornelia Parker and you see the exploded [inaudible00:01:09] crushed wind instruments and everything –breathless. Those immediately for me, aesthetically are beautiful but then behind them there’s something else as well and that’s the only kind of work that I’m interested in to be honest. I’m not interested in decorative art at all. It doesn’t do anything for me.
I mean you had the beat generation and then you had the hippies and you think of all the kind of loosening up of social values and art values as well that preceded the seventies. You’re talking about a generation that was brought up on that kind of attitude, which was me. So to me everything was possible and everything was open to question. The kind of work I did in the seventies for some reason is still uncomfortable for people now and I would have thought that we’ve come a long way since then but I don’t think we have. You know like, you get Thatcherism and you, people want it as a career; you can make money out of art, which is the huge debate still now, with Damien and everybody else. It’s a business now. Drugs, you know, sex, music, art is a business. It was a form of expression years ago and a way of freedom of expression, even with drugs like in the sixties and early seventies, it was about what you could get out of the experience. It wasn’t a means of escape.
I’ve looked at these pictures of me stripping, me doing art actions, and me doing the magazines and suddenly put them together and realise the position of my body in everything was so similar, you know, you could put three pictures together and from all these different context and the body is the same, but you know, the intent is totally different and the way it’s received is totally different and that interested me a lot. I was already working in modelling because I was using it in my male art collage material, my own magazine cuttings and things. I’ve just felt it was hypocritical for me to use the images in a way, of other people doing it when I could actually make the work complete in my view, and quite pure by bringing myself into the collages by going out into the sex industry and making those images myself and bringing them back into my male art. So that’s what started it off and a genuine curiosity for the sexual experience that I would get from that. I’ve never been interested in taking inspiration from existing art in a lot of ways like that. It’s more about attitudes, it’s not about the work that’s produced because once someone produces a work like the large glass, things like that which I really love. That’s theirs you know, and that’s their expression at the time, that belongs to them and it’s down to me, if I want to produce something that’s purely me, then what’s the point of beginning from that point.
You have to understand in the late seventies it was pre this kind of hankering for an art career, so it was everyone was collaborating with one another and everyone was like excited about doing things and you made it possible for people to do things if you had the means to do it. It was quite a fever pitch of activity really to be honest, so artists, and musicians, everyone it was all crossing over all the time. It’s your life you do it from day to day, and its importance is revealed later one because it has maybe inspired someone to do something else. It’s moved things forward basically. Most of the people I communicate with work a very private, in a very private way and that’s the kind of art I like and the fact that it comes into the public domain later on, I think then it’s found its time. So I mean it’s a bit like my work in a lot of ways, the work that I did thirty years ago suddenly has a place.