Monday, 2 August 2010


-16th July 2010, 6.30pm, Education Room, Plymouth Arts Centre

(click to enlarge)

The first in a series of public talks at Plymouth Arts Centre, 'Imagine Being Here Now (What Just Happened?)' was the Artist's Talk as cryptic participatory game. As an introduction to my working methods I collected together every finished artwork I had made over the last decade since the end of my Masters degree (52 it turns out) and devolved the selection process to the audience who had only the titles to go by.

(click to enlarge)

As each artwork was chosen by a different member of the audience - from the grid of titles set out on the wall on coloured cards - I would then call up the appropriate sequence of images in my 260 slide PowerPoint presentation. In the hour duration of the talk we managed to fit in nine different artworks, creating a unique setlist or route through my practice:

1: 'Step Test (with David Blandy - The Barefoot Lone Pilgrim' (2004)
2: 'Infinity Camera & Photograph of Infinity' (2000)
3: 'Blindfolded Sculpting' (2006)
4: 'Whittling Station featuring Wetherspoons Complimentary Condiments' (2004)
5: 'The Charter or Terms of Engagement' (2006)
6: 'Doctor's Note' (2005)
7: 'Billy Joel as Teaching Resource' (2005)
8: 'Escape From Your Estranged Wife and Start Living in the Mountains' (2005)
9: 'The Dad Directives' (2008)

The title 'Imagine Being Here Now' was a direct lift from a recent lecture by Lucy Lippard given at The Falmouth Convention , a four day conference focussing on time and place in art making. She began her keynote speech with the admission "'Imagine Being Here Now' is a title I offer up for advance publication when I have no idea yet what I’ll talk about". I enjoyed how this candid confession detached itself from whatever followed and became a riddle or motto for simultaneous engagement and detachment, mixed with a bit of professional resourcefulness. -->

As far as I can ascertain she has used the title at least three times in recent years, each time adding a more explanatory subtitle. For example ‘Imagine Being Here Now: Towards a Multicentred Exhibition Process” as the Falmouth lecture became, or “
Imagine Being Here Now: Stories in the Landscape” at the Santa Fe Art institute in 2006, amongst others.

Likewise, my talk generated it's own subtitle: 'Imagine Being Here Now (What Just Happened?)', pointing at the retrospective nature of the contents and the sleight of hand involved in its coming into being.

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