Roger Hiorns and me

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15 Settembre 2018

MILANO - 19th October 2018, 6PM  Foro Buonaparte 48


“You always have to think about materials and objects in terms of being malleable –I like to re-use and re-propose the power of found forgotten objects”. RogerHiorns

Roger Hiorns (b. Birmingham 1975) is a multifacedet person. Not simply a real artist, but more of a riddle, a puzzle and a Rubik’s cube together. He is an artist scientist, more than a painter a neurologist doctor, more than a sculptor an engineer, more a clinical biochemist than a designer. That’s why it’s so interesting talking to him.
GSS: When is your birthday?
RH: January, 11th.
GSS: Why are you and your art are so stupefying?
RH: During the period of life your persona changes a lot from childhood to adulthood. What makes me interested in artworks has always been to keep an historical, open eye to the past, since you have to know it, in order to change it and make something new. Looking dispart spreads ways of working tecniques. Identity splits in many different types of behavior. As a human in a very complex and changegable way; as an artist there is a reinforcement of the single person, of the self.
GSS: You often quote the word “split”. Are you splitted?
RH: Yes. I was diagnosed a sort of bipolarism syndrome, a personality disorder in my teen. Now I am over 40. If I violate my identity as an artist and person, this helps to understand better who you were and who you are. I work on many groups of ideas together, with whom I can bring forward my own identity and then subvert it. I reinforce them and make them amplified.
GSS: When we met, back in 2007, you were on the point of transforming with Seizure an entire flat of blue cristallized copper sulphate solution into a magic diving underworld grotto, or into a new Bethlem cavern.
An amazing spectale for the eyes of the viewer and you called it Seizure. What has changed since then and why do you have such an interest in medicine, chemistry, biochemical things? If you were the owner of a magic wand, what would you transform in beauty, after the copper sulphate today?
RH: I have an ability to take materiality to the next stage and trasform things, after an anxiety of working with paint and canvas, I developed a sense of being trapped by a traditional way and method of making, so I developed a dynamic group of ideas. Even the materials can bring in something else, a new lexicon of language. A new language will arrive, not ready yet. Even the interpretation of art will change.
This shifts over time. The materials are not unstable, but through their mutability we will be looking for something else.
I am interested in a science fiction view of the world, an alchemically changement to see the world in a different way, not religious, but ritual. As in a church the choral music makes you aware of imagination that evolved into a rational reality. This is the idea of a rationalize state to be obtained, from enchanment to disenchanmtent. The fall of the illusions.
GSS: Not everybody knows that golden age is a period in a field of endeavor when great tasks were accomplished. (500 BC- 350 BC) The term originated from early Greek and Roman poets, who used it to refer to a time when mankind lived in a better time and was pure (see Golden Age). Having said that, you atomize aircraft engines, burn airplanes, splatter brain matter into a polystyrene wall sculpture, transform alchemically copper cristals, it seems your work is constantly searching for the new golden era or a new attitute towards ideas. What is it for you art? What challenges should your work bring to mankind?
RH: When in 1996, I was reshaping the model of the Roman Catholic church in Chartres, in doing so I was also metaphorically reshaping architecture and religious moral values, outside and inside of it. In the past there was a way of speaking a language of art and this had many different moments; simpathetic, symbiotic between art and religion, but the last one with surrealism created a new language and interpretation of art.
Next language is approaching, we must been keen to the clues of what will be the next language. I try to bypass clichés of living establishment and I understand reality as a group of established ideas. My challenge to the reality is new forms of behaviour and imagery to try breakages, something that can overwhelm the reality.
GSS: So what does your art stands for?
RH: a universal reshaping and re reading of objects.
GSS: Unfortunately nowadays many artists have as main focus becoming famous, fame and money as ultimate target. What is your point of view on the quintals of crap we see around, still considered interesting art? Do you think the role of gallerists is at a dead end? Are they estinguishing as apatosaurus and brontosaurus did?
RH: I have strong responses, the fall of many overwhelming powerful galleries. They can exist as if in a private island. Artists are trapped in those islands. We can see them behave and act in those islands, but we are separate and see them far. A failure of artworks market recognise them as works. They are just obsessed by the idea of money. You are aware of it, you do not go near it.
GSS: And with you they tried to reshape your work according to the market?
RH: They never asked me to produce differently. I think I am too complicated to make me do that.
GSS: You usually produced sculptures and installations. Your new works are homosexual love paitings. Can you tell us something more on this new media? And why you choose it?
RH: I first did them in 2015. It was just a fascinating subject for me. Men fucking figures, they are figurative paintings, squared and big: 240x 240cm. We showed them in London and they were appreciated. People saw these paintings as radically new.
GSS: Creutzfeldt Jakob disease is fatal brain disorder. What your project on this disease lead to? Why were you interested in that?
RH: I think it’s a deep methafor for being artist, that means losing yourself or your mind. I was interested in the physical manifestation of it, on the erosion of the self and how the brain matter is working and the mechanism which makes it happen.
I am interested in brain and in the future machine that will be a new equivalent to it. A futuristic view and development on brain.
GSS: Why mainly do you burn airplanes and lately bury them in a funeral? Are you afraid of flying or what? Or maybe more interested in the underneath ritual? Where do you find the land and the permissions?
RH: Ritual is a form of protection. Ritual of burials are very interesting. As we do with humans at end of their life we put people under the earth, the same is with planes and object of everyday use. It can be very interesting and evocative to place an object of globalisation under the ground.
I found a man with a farm who likes the idea of having a buried plane in his land and I placed it there.
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