I'd like to thank the following people for their contributions in conversation to this statement:
Orlando Parr, BA (Hons) Photography Camberwell College of Arts Graduate 2019
Timothy Ellis, Camberwell College of Arts Lecturer
Ian Monroe, Camberwell College of Arts Sculpture Lecturer
I feel like I take on too much, but I also do spend a lot of my time doing nothing.
So, it’s specifically how much of a week I want to spend producing (in any sense), and how much of the week I want to spend enriching (talking, listening to music, down time).
My current work is about ‘legitimising’ the social time that you dedicate yourself...to not have to be productive, and specifically, having time where things can be experimental because it doesn’t have to be moving forward. The installation for my final piece is about pulling people back into the state in which the sound was made, and the physical outcome of this work is the thing that will determine how effective I can make the work. Now it’s really about the slow build of ‘relaxed’ social time morphing into productive time.
I wouldn’t say it’s specifically about productivity with your work - some people have a need to produce ‘things’ all the time - yours is the constant, like language is, it’s around us all the time and your sort of evolving it and moving it along.
All of my work is about language and conversation, so is - kind of - inherently about [being] human. Furthering this, I suppose it's really my use of language that I am exploring [along with my social circle’s various use of language].
I constantly listen to music and I’ve written bits of poetry rooted in hip hop lyrics. I want to do a study on dialect in UK hip hop - there is such a vast array of dialects in the UK, and that doesn’t stop people (from different regions) putting music out. It’s now more about representing the place that you’re from.
[Another important factor] for me is commentary, and [I’m aware] I’ll be graduating alongside hundreds of people doing interesting things that hopefully I’ll be able to write about. Meaning: my trajectory now [could be] more in writing, and may progress to be more of a journalistic practice.
What was funny in those early crits is...I said no one is going to talk about their art so we can just look and then respond without any preloaded information - of course you then stood up and talked for at least 15 minutes. *Laughs* [I found this] interesting, because it occurred to me…artists often inadvertently reveal the thing they’re truly interested in by the stuff they think they need to frontload in what the work is. Some people do that in a very awkward way, or [say] “I think it might be about this” - whereas you were very commanding of that space, and it felt like the living spoken word. What you do is nice, because it tries to not engage in that performative aspect but it is by its nature, an unfolding event.
Often there isn’t really justification to the self of why you do things when you make work, because you kind of just are.
I’ve seen artists being drawn into this social efficacy mode - “you can come and do your art, but it has to be socially engaged, you have to have some impact on the community” and all of that is now: to make art feel that it has a use - when in fact I believe, and there’s a debate going on, with art, it’s beauty is really it’s uselessness. So with ‘language’, it’s incredibly useful, but at the same time, it’s probably one of the most mutatable things. You can bely, in this country, your class, your background, all sorts with changing that. In this country the sophistication around the use and deployment of [language and dialect] as a - kind of - codified system is incredible.