Nick Hornby Answers FAD’s Questions

1 If you weren’t an artist, what else would you be?
I would have tried to be an architect.

2 Name 3 of your least favourite artists.
Anyone who is lazy, insincere, anyone who jumps on a bandwaggon, anyone who is a hypocrite. Maybe some of the Relational Artists (apart from Liam Gillick who I think is brilliant).

3. Anytime, any place – which artist’s body would you most like to inhabit?
Right now, I think Tony Cragg. Maybe Serra when Tilted Arc went up. Maybe Moholy Nagy when he was on the phone describing his signs.

4 What is your favourite ‘ism’?
Pluralism.

5 What was the most intelligent thing that someone said or wrote about your work?
Brooke Lynn McGowan wrote about my MA show in a piece for Miser and Now but the Magazine stopped. She said “It is not a matter of knowing ‘from where they return’, but rather to what they return. ” referring to Van Gogh’s old boots in Derrida’s Truth in Painting. All my work in the last three years has grown from this short piece, and I think I still have years more of unpacking to do.

6. And the dumbest?
I get that prize.

7 Which artists would you most like to rip off, sorry, I mean appropriate as a critique of originality and authorship?

Sorry I’m afraid I’m not going to be flippant / entertaining about this one – its too close to home. My heros are Saussure, Levi Strauss, Barthe and Derrida. The entire body of work I’m showing is made up of objective amalgams of other quoted sculptors (Hepworth, Moore, Brancusi, Frink, Calder, Rodin). I try to make synthetics that straddle a point between raw and cooked – trying to make things which almost have a guise of their own autonomy, but also reveal their own construction. Of course, I recognize the futility of trying to escape authorship…. inescapable filter of your own eyes, your subjectivity, your autobiography…. but I think its territory worth digging about in.

8 Do you care what your art costs? State your reasons!

What it costs to make or what it costs to buy? The only piece of sculpture I own is a chair by Phyllida Barlow which I bought for £10 on my birthday a few years ago. Its made of 2×1 and splodged togehter with plaster with red, yellow and a lot of black paint. Its utterly beautiful, fragile and precious. My flat is tiny and its feels utterly perverse to have a sculpture trying to pass itself off as a chair that noone can sit on. My own production costs vary hugely from project to project. I don’t have a traditional studio practice and only take one on when necessary. Recently I’ve become interested in having things cut mechanically (as a quasi buffer of objectivity) using a company that cuts out super-yachts. This can be rather expensive. In short… do I care…? yes but I don’t think you need to be consistent.

9 What are the three big ideas that you would like your work to express?

Something personal from the viewer, something about the world and something about me. Or a sense of conviction followed by a question.

10 Are you a political artist?
Yes, deeply. And every decision you make is an expression of that.

11 How do you start the process of making work?
I have a compartmentalized practice, I divide my time quite distinctly into research, development, production and revision. I think I’m interested in methodologies in the same way I’m interested in our constructedness. I start with very strong Coffee.

12 What next?
I need to try to find a way to balance short-termism and long-term ism. Balance the need to facilitate/finace studio production with the need to maintain criticality and time for distance and reflection. I think everything matters.

13 If Moma and the Tate and the Pompidou wanted to acquire one of your works each, which would you want them to have?
Nothing I’ve made yet.

14 Complete the following sentence “Blessed art the artists, for they shall…...”
(Sorry I don’t like the idea of being “blessed”) ((But I do buy into Chekhov’s “men must work to be happy.”))

15 Complete the following sentence “Blessed are the curators, for they shall…
(Sorry I don’t like the idea of being “blessed”)

16 Complete the following sentence “Blessed are the art critics, for they shall….”
(Sorry I don’t like the idea of being “blessed”)

17. What is your favourite cheese?
It depends on context.

18. What’s next for you?
Well I have this burning desire to catalogue a series of “Points of View” of iconic artworks…. ie the artwork looking back to the viewer. So I’m trying to get permission to get up Nelson’s column with my camera.

Nick Hornby: Atom vs. Super Subject at Alexia Goethe Gallery
www.nickhornby.com/
Questions supplied by Ben Lewis for more from Ben Lewis see his site

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the founder and editor of FAD magazine, a curation of the world’s most interesting culture, and Creative Director of FAD Agency, a digital creative agency: www.fad.agency

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *