So rarely has a critic spoken to me directly about a work of mine they then write about, with exceptions, such as Charlie Fox, Tom Morton and Elizabeth Fullerton. Often the reviewer/critic has never seen another work of mine. My works have often been outside of London or the UK and often have very low capacity for viewers/visitors because of the structures I build (hence audiences are small).
The reviewers generally seem to want to take a supposed ‘without prejudice’ view – an idea that they do not want their unsullied perception of the work to be shaped by an artist’s intentions. However in the case of our usual encounters with art there are two systems – one which calls on 'known works' and artists, on our historic knowledge on say Rothko for example – narratives that place the work amongst biographical facts – the back story, the influences the contexts that utterly shape our perceptions when seeing these infamous art works. But to come without foreknowledge to let's say 'a concrete block' in a space, presented as an art work, it is hard to know immediately what it is referring to – unless it is told to you or written down that it was infact taken from the sea and used to drown a specific man 40 years ago in Iceland. Leave the work without its back-story and it seems that unconscious bias is really the only mechanism at play with and that relies on all your innate conditioning and not the artist's ambitions.
What this artist (me) wants to find is someone that can see as much – if not more than I can in a work I have made – that they can elucidate what it is you have been doing (find meaningful words for it) because they are the writers that define art and often it is not us (the makers) as essentially we are not necessarily wordsmiths. But we at best can introspect our unconscious drives when making art and see them like in dreams and recognise them.
I am extremely grateful to Elizabeth Fullerton for taking the time to consider the complexity and density of my work in Elephant magazine.