Kiki Smith interviewed by Zoe Irvine. The conversation take place at the Anthony d'Offay Gallery in Spring 1995.
During the Spring of 1995, Kiki Smith exhibited concurrently at the Whitechapel Art Gallery and at Anthony d'Offay. This conversation takes place at Anthony d'Offay, where Smith begins by talking about the work on show there, heads and arms combined with other forms such as birds, mushrooms and butterflies. Following this she explains her approach to the Whitechapel exhibition, particularly with regard to the use of the space with its large central nave-like area and flanking aisles. The Judaeo-Christian overtones here lead to consideration of similar aspects in her work itself. Apparent oppositions - body and soul, sensuality and spirituality, attraction and repulsion - are not evoked in distinction to one another, but recognised as interlinked facets of each sculpture. Smith's sculpture is grounded in her own experience, a reality she acknowledges while rejecting the idea that it might be seen simply as autobiographical. It appears as not quite life size, something that stems from her preference for using models smaller than herself as well as from the natural reduction involved in the casting process. The importance of this scale as a simultaneous confounding and reinforcement of monumentality is brought out. Smith also explains her use of materials and ends by recognising that her work is beginning to look beyond the human form for its subject matter.
Keith Coventry interviewed by William Furlong. Interview recorded at the Karsten Schubert Gallery in London, at the end of 1994.
In this interview recorded in the Karsten Schubert Gallery, London, at the end of 1994, Keith Coventry describes an underlying concern of his exhibition, White Abstracts, as an interrogation of modernism and how it can fit in or be used in the service of the traditions being depicted. The traditions Coventry chooses as subject matter for his paintings are revealed in their titles: White Abstract (Trooping the Colour) 1994, White Abstract (Lifeguard) 1994, White Abstract (Noel Coward) 1994 and White Abstract (Sir Norman Reid Explaining Modern Art to the Queen 1979) 1994. In quoting from the conventions of modernism a tension is articulated by the dual strands that arise out of the image Keith Coventry and its painted representation. The images in this series of works are implicit rather than explicit. They are constructed beneath the surface with texture and impasto similar, as the artist puts it, to a kind of textural painting by numbers where the marks are there to fill in the gaps between the forms. Whilst there is evidence of 'the hand' Coventry claims that there is actually no feeling for the paint, it is used purely to substantiate 'the image'. Each individual mark doesn't add to the meaning of the picture, they are totally devoid of any accumulative meaning. Coventry chooses source images and icons from popular culture to be found on picture postcards or on the front page of tabloid newspapers. One reading of the work could suggest a social critique where durable English institutions, traditionally associated with spectacle, pageantry, privilege and power have, in Coventry's white paintings, become drained of their original vitality and colour, 'held captive by tradition'* and trapped within both an actual and metaphorical art historical frame.
Maggie Roberts interviewed by Michael Archer. Orphandrift is the title of the art installation by Maggie Roberts, Ranu Mukherjee and Susan Karakashian displayed at the Cabinet Gallery in London in April 1995.
Orphandrift are Maggie Roberts, Ranu Mukherjee and Susie Karakashian. For their exhibition at the Cabinet Gallery, London, in April 1995 they used a large number of photographs shot from TV and video monitors and subsequently manipulated in the darkroom. As well as this varied visual display covering the gallery's silver-painted walls, the space was filled with techno music. The three members of the group describe how the images work as a narrative which is not linear so much as spatial. This space is confounded and complex, bearing qualities to be found in the different landscapes of the earth, in the images of film, and in the logic chips of the computer. In its viewing as much as its construction, the exhibition invites one to navigate through this space. As the presence of the music suggests, viewing is not a purely visual affair but incorporates tactile, auditory and other sensory perceptual modes. What the exhibition and the world it represents point towards are the limits of what it means to be human. How is it possible nowadays to mark a clear distinction between oneself and one's environment? In exploring this question here and in their writings and performances, Orphandrift use three inter-related themes, autism, vampirism and voodoo, the significance of which are elaborated upon in the course of the conversation. The tape also includes Ranu Mukherjee reading a fragment from one of their texts.