Alexander Costello writes:
“I am an artist. I am an idiot.
Vincent Van Gogh said “Just slap anything on when you see a blank canvas staring you in the face like some imbecile. You don’t know how paralyzing that is, that stare of a blank canvas, which says to the painter, ‘You can’t do a thing’. The canvas has an idiotic stare and mesmerizes some painters so much that they turn into idiots themselves. Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of `you can’t’ once and for all.”
I am an idiot, according to Van Gogh. Perhaps that’s why I’m not a painter. Indeed I am not a painter. Rather I have been co-habiting with blank canvases in my studio for the last year, thinking about how to approach them and what to do with them. A friend (a painter) gave up painting because she was overwhelmed by the fear of committing to the mark on the canvas, paralysed by the thought that its potential would instantly be dashed, her credibility with it. She knew there would be no going back.
This is my point of departure…
In addition, I was born in London, 1976, studied BA Hons Fine Art (Scuplture) at Middlesex Universtiy (1996-99) and MFA Media at Slade School of Fine Art (1999-2001)”
Rebecca (Becky) Cremin works in process and draws on traditions of live art, fluxus, performance writing and site specific work to construct a hybridity of practice which uses language as an object to expose, to investigate, to locate. She is a founding member of the poetic collective PRESS FREE PRESS. She is currently undergoing a practice based PhD researching sites of and for poetic performance. Her publications include ‘To be on a page’ in Dear World & Everyone In It: New Poetry in the UK (Bloodaxe), Occupancy in VLAK, (Litteraria Pragensia), she as again : again as she in Viersome 01 and LAY’D both from Veer Books and Cutting Movement from The Knives Forks and Spoons Press. Her poems have featured in Blart, Department, Klatch, Veer About, How2 and beyond. Her performances take place in galleries, pubs, on council estates, in her bedroom, in the street, in the book and on the page.
Ulli Freer lives and works in London , and has been active over a number of years. He is a member of the Veer editorial collective. His work has been published in a several magazines including AND, Curtains,Veer Away, Cleave2. Publications include Blvds (Equipage, Cambs), Sandpoles (Equipage, Cambs), Eye Line (Spanner, Hereford ), Speakbright Leap Password (Salt Books, Cambs), Burner (Veer Books, London ), Recovery (Rot Direct, London).
John James left his native city of Cardiff for Bristol where he first produced the little magazine The Resuscitator with Nick Wayte. Later he moved to Cambridge where he became one of the group closely associated with The English Intelligencer. His recent books include In Romsey Town Equipage 2011 and Cloud Breaking Sun Oystercatcher Press 2012. A Collected Poems appeared from Salt in 2002.
Kai Syng Tan will present On Eating Gum (and the Distasteful Art of My Body).
‘In Autumn 1994, I ate gum in front of the crowd in London. I did it because I could. Because my body was my medium. Because I was in London, where gum was not banned, and because using my body to make art was not banned and not considered as distasteful’. In this presentation, Kai talks about how eating chewing gum was her starting point to use her body as a medium of expression, and how concepts and practices from the Chinese way-of-life of Daoism has helped her to contextualise this ‘body art’.
Trained in London, Chicago, Tokyo and Singapore, Kai is a restlessly peripatetic mutt. The interdisciplinary work of the artist-curator-educator has been shown in more than 45 cities (Biennale of Sydney; Transmediale; ICA London; Guangzhou Triennale), and she has won several awards (San Francisco International Film Festival Merit Award for Experimental Video, Young Artist Award, Most Promising Young Artist Award), grants (three scholarships), and residencies (NIFCA, Japan Foundation). For several years Kai was an advisor in a panel at the Media Development Authority of Singapore, and worked as lecturer and programme leader in an art university and film school, as well as a digital arts consultant. Named ‘one of Singapore’s foremost video artist’ (Dr Eugene Tan 2007), Kai’s permanent video installation is on display in a central subway station in Singapore. Kai is currently a PhD candidate at the Slade.
- Kai’s PhD research, Kaidie’s 1000-Day Trans-Run 12.12.2009 – 09.09.2012 exists in many forms but the website, which has for the past 3 years attracted nearly 900,000 unique visitors, can function as a starting point: <http://www.3rdlifekaidie.com>
- For more information about artist: <http://www.3rdlifekaidie.com/kaisyngtan>
- Exhibition and interview on LEA Online: <http://www.leoalmanac.org/index.php/lea/exhibition/lea_new_media_exhibition_interview_with_kai_syng_tan/>
- Moving images: <http://www.youtube.com/user/kaidie3rdlife>