Me- I would like to start, if I may, with an attempt to pin down your practice. OK! Let’s go. Is the sense of subjectivity highlighted in your work in a dialectical relationship with the objectively inhumane world?
Me- Do you use your art as a narcissistic vehicle, as an objectification and symbolization of your imagined perfection?
Me- Do you want your work to be perceived as a cultural artefact?
Me- It is in part, surely? It’s a visual response to a particular social circumstance.
Him- No, it’s not.
Me- Do you think your creative imagination articulates unconscious irrationality through self-conscious work aiming at rationality?
Him- Not at all.
Me- OK, then answer me this. Is it nihilistic, voyeuristic and hostile?
Me- Do you possess an undeserved reputation for psychological acumen?
Me- Is it in fact commonsensically trivial, mere secondary elaborations of a psychologically primary narrative code?
Me- Within a wounding economic logic, do you think cultural provision seeks to engender entrepreneurs through projects of the self?
Me- I would like to talk around the corporeality of your work vis-à-vis the technological ontological gap between the citizens of the dystopian now and the rest of the world.
Me- The people, the peasants, small traders, folk who have access to parts, fractions, not the whole, the excessive whole.
Him- Is this relating to my pigeon piece?
Me- Indirectly, yes.
Him- No, I would rather not comment on that.
Me- It’s not exactly a Socratic dialogue, is it? Anyway how did it actually feel being penetrated by a collective of sex workers while chanting "Big up Perry Anderson, if he can't do it no-one can"?
Me- But ultimately illuminating?
Me- You were sectioned for a short period of time after repeatedly headbutting a wall built by starving indentured child labourers, can you tell us what underlay that piece of work? Were you attempting to highlight the inherent exploitation involved in being a member of the first world with all that concomitant guilt?
Him- No, it was a piece about angst.
Me- It was ideologically naive.
Him- No, it was not.
Me- "Lancashire Sandpit", a piece of yours, a monumental piece, involved: Marsh Arabs, a Humvee, some cotton, a holographic projection of Preston circa 1776 and some dancing girls. It was seen by many as actually shocking. Did you intend to shock?
Him- No, it was a deferred form of adolescent projection.
Me- I can feel you opening up a little now.
Him- No you can’t.
Me- Could you tell us about a couple of projects that you have been unable to bring about.
Him- I would like to steal a monkey from a European zoo, skin it, buy a deaf child, cover it in a monkey suit and replace it into the zoo, in the dead of night.
Him- There's this bloke I can't stand. With some "intelligence" people I know, I would like to create a false trail of withdrawals from the company he works for, he's an accountant. Anyway, I'd get him sent down and then spread rumours and create photos documenting his constant infidelities. I'd enable these to reach the eyes of his partner, I'd then become a shoulder to cry on and seduce and impregnate her. Hopefully I'd be able to bring our son to visit the former accountant in jail. Conceptually that’s quite tight.
Him- I'd like to facilitate an intergender performance space. I'd invite women and men's camp attendees. There’s a complex of buildings in some woodland that I own in Cornwall that I have in mind. Anyway, I’ll have the widest variety of hallucinogenic, psychotropic and ecstatic substances disguised in their evening meal and then secretly record their experiences.Me- Just before you go, what do you think of heroin?
Him- I think it’s a lot cooler than crack cocaine.
Me- By a lot?
Him- Not a lot, no.
"Irony is a precarious way of clinging to an ego that has become cut off from instinct, from the animality of the psyche and making a virtue out of it, indeed irony announces the isolation of the ego from its instinctive roots."
Him- No it’s not.