Marlene Dumas interviewed by William Furlong. This interview was recorded during a break in a conference, 'A Meeting Between Artists and Scientists on the Creative Process'*, held at the Rockefeller Foundation in Ballagio, Italy in November 2001. Marlene Dumas responds to a series of questions about interpretation and meaning in her works including, The First People 1991, a series of four paintings of babies which, given their enlarged scale, take on a menacing or threatening presence. She speaks about tension in her art arising out of a sense of ambiguity which invites multiple readings. In Black Drawings 1991-2, comprising a series of 111 drawings and 1 slate, she rejects the suggestion that, in coming from South Africa, the black portraits were motivated by the desire of make a political statement, to memorialise individuals, or to 'speak for someone else'. She goes on to discuss the themes in her paintings such as love, eroticism, sexuality and pornography, where there is an implicit element of attraction and engagement with the total human condition. In describing her work as arising out of being felt, rather than starting from formal issues she goes on to add that, 'the meaning of the work sits more in what happens to it when it's finished and goes out into the world than where the starting point is'.
Mike Nelson interviewed by Rachel Withers. In this interview conducted at the end of last year Mike Nelson talks to Rachel Withers about his working practice in the wake of three major shows - the 2001 Turner Prize exhibition, the ICA solo show and his work at the Venice Biennale 2001. Nelson talks about the effect of success on his working practice and the viewing experience. He also talks about the interconnectedness of the events of September the 11th and the piece in Venice. The conversation moves on to the ICA work and the issues of cuttural tourism and parody as referred to in the preface of the 1954 edition of Borges's book The Universal History of Infamy that is quoted in the catalogue. Nelson then traces his sense that the work in the upper gallery at the ICA recreated an un-made piece he dates to 1993 and how it precedes the body of work he came to make in the years following and serves to some extent to forming a better understanding of this body of work as a whole.
Pamela Golden interviewed by William Furlong. Pamela Golden speaks about the themes, subject matter and source material of her exhibition Even the Car is Dead, at Gimpel Fils, London. This comprised, in the main, sequences of small paintings derived from anonymous found photographs, which depict intimate family moments, recording seemingly uneventful episodes in people's lives. Golden's edgy reconstructions of these snapshots of frozen moments, represent the provisional 'middle ground' of experience, where there is the potential for a dramatic incident to occur or a complex narrative to unfold. Accordingly, the spaces in her paintings could be read as film sets, rather than actual places. She goes on to discuss her profound interest in film, its history and associated techniques. In doing so, she refers to the importance of the early black and white documentaries of Flaherty and Hollwood horror films such as The Black Cat* with Boris Karloff, and those of Charlie Chaplin.
Mark Fairnington interviewed by Rachel Withers. Mark Fairnington talks with Rachel Withers on the occasion of his exhibition at Mobile Home. He begins by describing the source materials and research process for the three series of paintings in the show: Man to Die, Without Shame and a series of eye paintings. The Man to Die series was made from work carried out at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Fairnington draws the comparison between his painting practice and that of nineteenth-century taxonomic practices. They go on to discuss issues around the label of photorealism and the grotesque. The interview concludes on the theme of Fairnington's new work, a further collaboration with the entomologist from Museum of Oxford, they went to Belize to study tree-hopper insects, the images of which he is currently working on in the studio.