A conversation between Tom Pope and Laura Liliyana- Raffaella Cogoni - FAD Magazine

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A conversation between Tom Pope and Laura Liliyana- Raffaella Cogoni

Imagine you win the Deutsche Bank Award for creative enterprise.

Tom Pope interviewed for FAD Magazine

So when Deutsche Bank offer you ten thousand pound, I think the least you can do is buy a Hearse and a grandfather clock and drive from London to Geneva to bury the clock at the centre of the Large Hadron Collider.

That is exactly what Royal College of Art graduate Tom Pope did.

In his mind he wanted to destroy time and its through this destruction that time is created.

Instructions on the Destruction of Time.

‘Aren’t the clocks going back this weekend?’ Tom asks.

I don’t know.

‘Backwards or forwards, I don’t know either. I don’t see the point in it, it doesn’t make sense.’

The thought process is as follows.

The destruction of ‘measured’ time.

We are at The Woolpack, sitting outside against a wall covered in downward growing ivy. Initially we wanted to sit opposite, with the wall covered in Convex mirrors but that was taken by a man already.

If you can’t sit by them – pose infront of them. Photograph by me.

Earl grey and bronchitis and even the sugar cubes come environmentally friendly and packed individually in plastic.

‘I wanted to make something pretty fucking nuts.’

Pope started on the 25th March 2012 at12pm, Golden Square, London, W1 and travelled from London to Geneva, where he buried a Grandfather clock at the center of the Large Hadron Collider.

Rosemary, the Coleman Milne hearse. Photograph by Tom Pope.

The top scientific theory regarding the beginning of the universe is the Big Bang, a term first used by Fred Hoyle in 1950. In this theory, the universe began 13.7 billion years ago. It started as a single point, smaller than an atomic nucleus, with an infinitely high temperature and an infinite density. In the first instants of time, between 10-35 seconds and 10-32 seconds, it underwent a period of exponential “inflation”, doubling in size every 10-24seconds, before settling down into the rate of expansion we observe today.

A common misconception is that the Big Bang was an explosion that happened out in space. Despite this, there is plenty of reasonably direct evidence for how the universe unfolded from about 1/100th of a second after the Big Bang. Before that, things were very different and strange.

So the LHC is the next best thing to witnessing the beginning of the universe and Tom having driven for five weeks through Europe and about four thousand miles, placed the grandfather clock at the center of The Large Hadron Collider.

‘I really want to make or buy a boat.’

I say he should make one.

‘Yes but making one will take time. Maybe I’ll just buy one. I spend six weeks making art. I spend three months looking at stuff’ he says patting his notebook.


‘I like to be playful. I like playing. I still play, but in a different way. It’s like Peter Pan – learning to fly or Michael Jackson. I almost got arrested once because we trashed this hotel room in Paris but I’m always getting naked at sunrise and jumping into the Serpentine. Its kind of ritualistic.’

Tom’s work is very much the act of doing. Doing – in the moment. Whatever happens at that time, without deliberation?

‘I never plan things, the balloons I popped in Paris or the oranges I stole in Monaco, that was all just me doing stuff. I just filmed everything I did.’ The other day he jumped through a row of bamboo. ‘They were all in line – so I just jumped through.’

Tom Pope doesn’t think about sad things and doesn’t make artwork about his personal life.

We get onto the topic of Yves Klein.

‘He’s the greatest artist that ever lived. I’ve read all his writing. He’s epic. He combines being playful with humor and seriousness.’

“I have written my name on the far side of the sky.”? Yves Klein

Words: Laura Liliyana-Raffaella Cogoni

You can also watch this FAD video interview with Tom Pope



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