Extracts from a Conversation about Poses [2015]

“[…] It’s a theoretical device showing a separation of experience from the materials that engender it, and what fills that space, which is language. I am trying to know that relationship I have to the material, where and how it exists.”

“Our human experience is so inseparable from materiality yet we charge it as deviant. […] But does that really make sense? […] Materiality is not the experience of living, because we don’t know anything other than it is not in here it is all out there, but it forms our desires.”

“And materiality is the Artist’s breath.”

“Exactly, a tangible expiration. […] And pigment equals makeup, armature equals high-heels, we use beards, wigs, leathers, silks, costumes, clays, crutches; the dildonic library goes on and on for us. And what, or where, at the end of it all, are we? We are the language between us and the material. That is where the we are. It’s a limited angle, but that’s okay, you have to remember you are the rock and the thought of rock, it’s just that you can only experience the communication between.”


“Who lives in these poses?”

“Anyone who has donned a flowing robe for the execution of a spiritual moment. Be that comical, erotic, political, meditative; to make someone’s knees tremble, or instil awe in ourselves and others. It is the wearer and the watcher. It is that desire to be the fucker and the fucked concurrently. […]”

“And it becomes a model of a wider behaviour.”


“And we can do this so easily these days, because this is simply another version of contemporary consumerist experience, we consume and are consumed.”

“The desire economy is a modern term for a long understood ontological idea. We are not only driven by our desires; we are also defined by them.”


“And the vision, in the cave, the half-light of the church, the face of Jesus in the stucco.”

“Grainy pornography, the man or woman of your dreams glimpsed in a crowd, reminiscent smells-”

“All the language of materiality, the same as penetration, taste, the cladding and devouring of bodies.”


“I picked some of the sweet-smelling leaves, crushed them in my hands, and rubbed my wet but burning body with them. I looked at myself for a long while, with no more shame now, with joy […]”

Categories: Apparitions (Sep 2015) | BLAUHAUS | Façade | Portfolio | Trans- | Written

Created: 26th July 2016
Edited: 3rd August 2016

Poses: Smock and Poses: Skirt (at the Apparitions exhibition)


VII The Sodomite, detail from Poses: Smock at the Apparitions exhibition (the Marble Cave of Gadime)


XV Contrapposto, detail from Poses: Skirt at the Apparitions exhibition (the Marble Cave of Gadime)

Categories: Apparitions (Sep 2015) | BLAUHAUS | Portfolio

Created: 26th July 2016
Edited: 3rd August 2016

How We Enter a Cave I (Materiality) [2016]

(for the publication Apparitions: The Appearance and Disappearance of London Art in the Marble Cave of Gadime, 2016)

“Two bats flying with preternatural precision / from unseen alcove to unseen alcove, alerted / to change by the sound of our voice and footstep. The cave continuing to change / using one of the longest measurements of time / available to our eyes. And in this slow drip morphology / we cannot find a fixture to hang our work / against. We hang our work against / the giant / image of chaos / in / the secretive motions of rock. / And as a consequence the work feels still / calm apparitions floating on the earth-tide.”

“So the cave is intractable?”

“No, surprisingly not. It works with sympathy and support / standing / still with its protective curlicue. It felt homely in some ways.”

“I appreciate a simple gesture.”

“And it is. Even through the encrypted crystalline structures, there is a simplicity, both meditative and clear. So clear that it starts to open the darkness to us, the inside one and the outside one. A leveller, that’s what I’m getting at, compressed blackened truth, like carbon. And in that completeness an acceptance within the elements, you find your thoughts sit on the surface, patterns of light on a slick of oil, drifting on the sea.”

“To be a thought you have to lose a body.”

“And as your body dissolves you are taken in by the thought that doesn’t necessarily hold on to a body. This thought is unpredictable and develops its rhythm without recourse to the order of sense, or at least the limited sense of the body. It confuses remembered sensation, it’s not empirically sound. Cut loose from our experience of reality by the slow structural engineering of tectonics, fusion and erosion, we end up in that vulnerable human place, found in oceans, or ill health, food deprivation, sleep deprivation, sunstroke, boredom, incarceration, aphasia.”

“We end up in the world of hallucination. Scratchy whispers, echoes, stale air, sulphur and unexpected temperatures, all leading halfway to spiritual misunderstanding, fear and frustrated sight.”

“And our own tongue speaks half inside and half outside of our mouths. The ear and the par-concious eye are left with gibberish. This cave-language moves too slowly for us and is not linear. So the dialogue must be taken in its entirety, slowly, a long exposure. Success in this space is well out of our hands, it becomes an embrace of the empty.”

“There is almost a definite contemporary mysticism, coming out of the atomic, and nature’s own constructions of form, way beyond our small concerns of time and energy.”

“Only two dialogues can be certain in here, the time of the cave and its overt structuralism. These condense any work into a flourish, and the condensed work dances across the structure…”

“A space is formed and we / come into that space, with our small systems of / time, our own energy. The scale is / distorted with the immense disproportions. We look at our work / against the cave.”

“…and beyond the two is a confusion of sensory ambiguity, and thought becomes surprisingly loud.”

Categories: Apparitions (Sep 2015) | Façade | Portfolio | Written

Created: 25th July 2016
Edited: 29th November 2016

Apparitions publication [2016]



Bekim Retkoceri
Annabel Pettigrew
Joanne Newman
Annelie Fawke
Jamie Alexander Crawford
Jojo Hynes
Rich Leppard
Bekim Mala
Ox Art

Categories: Apparitions (Sep 2015) | Portfolio

Created: 25th July 2016
Edited: 3rd August 2016

Apparitions (second text)

(for the Apparitions exhibition, September 2015)

In the practice of Art we rely on the opportune.
Opportunities arise, and to take them
Is to take part in the movement of ideas that
Keep the Art thing viable.
We make things with intention,
Yet offer them up as apparitions
To opportunity, in order to have them
In order that we can remake them with new
Understanding. So nine artists have the opportunity
To make their work
Apparitions of the Marble Cave of Gadime
And contrive a change for the work.
Our contrivance is genuine, we know the
Apparition provokes change, keeps us viable.
And for the practice of Art that’s enough.
Not too little to require of modern mysticism.
Because the contemporary apparition is not benign,
It appears because it needs to,
And disappears because it has no choice.

Categories: Apparitions (Sep 2015) | Written

Created: 26th October 2015
Edited: 17th April 2016

Apparitions (first text)

(for the Apparitions exhibition, September 2015)


Categories: Apparitions (Sep 2015) | Written

Created: 26th October 2015

III The Transformed (detail from Poses: Smock, 2015)

Categories: Apparitions (Sep 2015) | Portfolio

Created: 23rd October 2015
Edited: 11th February 2017

XIII The Charitable (detail from Poses: Skirt, 2015)

Categories: Apparitions (Sep 2015) | Façade | Portfolio

Created: 23rd October 2015
Edited: 3rd August 2016