Art Rotterdam

RADIAAL MODERNE

Robin Footitt & Simon Mathers in conversation with John Slyce

John Slyce: What is your concept for Radiaal Moderne?

Robin Footitt: My idea was based around the context of it, the idea of a lasso being something that’s got a physical space in the middle, but always changing because it’s oscillating, and there is a great boundary that always oscillates. The physical space in the middle is temporary ? at best ? and how that model might operate in an art-fair context is what interests me. I think it’s a back-and-forth; something that’s always contextualised by the time it is in and, I suppose, by the people working in that space. This is loosely tied to the idea that I’ve oscillating parts of my own practice that perhaps overlap. All this might be in dialogue without intentionally being a dialogue.

Radiaal Moderne could be really interesting because it could be structured or have no aspect of a start or end. It’s encapsulating aspects of our work that maybe crop up now and again that we don’t know about or that we don’t intentionally put forward, so it overlaps and oscillates.

It is something between process and visualisation.

I suppose, for me, I’m always thinking about that: the aspect of doing that crown drawing (Inner Circle, 2008); spinning it around on my head; and that being something that changed the perspective that I see my work in. It really did change everything.

Simon Mathers: That chalk one?

RF: Yes. When I started to do a crown painting, I gave up on it because it resolved itself as a crown before it was finished, and then I just did another one that was spinning a board around on my head and that was it. I just took a break during the painting. And situated the two efforts, you know, at right angles to each other, where they weren’t before. And that relation has always been something I have thought about since then.

SM: We’ve always spoken about process and image-making – how you can get those two to integrate together; to make one of the elements become the other and vice versa. I think we share that quality as well. So, yes – perpetual fluctuation, repetition and things that just seem to be open-ended ? the lasso describes that quite nicely.

JS: The thing is – with your work, Simon, I can see how, in a sense, the process and the visualisation never stands still; whereas, Robin, your images do get fixed, even if they hover in-between visualisation or the lack of it in a couple of pieces I’m thinking about. But your work does not feel as restless in its visualisations as Simon’s which really feels kind of liquid to me even when you’re in front of a work or a painting, and it still feels as if it is in a process of coming together.

RF: That even goes for materials.

JS: Yes.

RF: I work on quite dense, heavy-based things. I’ve often shunned canvas supports as a means of getting images onto surfaces because of that idea; it’s a false layer. Canvas acts like a veil and, really, that veiling has never been a part of the image making that I do. I try and use accents or a little bit of poetics in the kind of images that I look at.

SM: Accents’ or ‘accidents’?

RF: Both, actually. [Laughs.] I’ve had failures that have turned into artworks, where a show might be pretty much laden with the fact that I didn’t do what I wanted to do, and then there will be work based on that which incorporate and redeem those elements of failure. I suppose you can increase the risks in that respect.

I’m always doing these things. I anticipate everything and then wind up getting something else – a spillage, or excess that then becomes a focus. It used to feel like I was aggravating what I’d done before. I felt it was a success or I didn’t like it, or I’d try to find weak spots that I could isolate and then lead on to other work. But then it became a lot more Spartan, like I’d be using studio practice as a means to get these things out. I suppose, my current position comes from the idea that I gave sketchbooks much importance early on and then I sort of abandoned the book for the wall. The wall became a means of presentation and display.

SM: There is fluidity, I guess, not in the work, it is more in the form of thought.

JS:?Yes, in the form or the way the initial conception resolves itself materially.

SM: I was going to say you’re much more meticulous in your way of working things out and that seems to be where fluidity comes. I remember the Blyth Gallery show Ghost Tank you did with Nathan Barlex and Andy Larkin. I remember Ben Senior saying the whole thing seems to be about conundrums. Something just spinning and then not being able to spin any more and the brain just trying to work it all out. I thought that was quite a nice kind of analogy of how you work.

RF: Yes, I guess it is. It is always – whether it is fast or slow – a kind of oscillation of context. Sometimes you really want to focus, and it is important to focus, but then other times it’s almost like you’re plucking ideas out of the air and it seems a lot more incongruous how things link together. Sometimes, those two things can be cut in half and then moulded into something else [Chuckles.] You know, it’s an interesting way to work. At the moment it’s open-ended. It doesn’t have a defined direction. It is chasing its tail a bit, but that’s where working on projects like this come in to test out things.

SM: And you tested out some things with Caroline Walker before, didn’t you?

RF: Yes.

SM: In Through the Wall – you worked on those veiled images. Well, not so much a veil. What were you doing? Just glazing paintings with multiple colours and looking through the colour to the colour below?

RF: Yes, and that’s what was the attractive proposition with Caroline’s work and why her use of the interior is so important. And it’s something I’d like to work more with in that kind of consideration.

JS: With interiors?

RF: Well, the idea of an artist’s practice being something that can really influence another – but not in a way of altering it; rather working in unison, or an overlap. That’s why I think is interesting to work with Simon. It’s an altercation of materials that can really be something that ignites ideas in the context of being next to each other or surroundings. Within the context of an art fair being so temporary ? it’s all a fabrication. The whole thing is a prop ? so there should be more play with that as a concept. As it’s happened, you know, in quite a short amount of time [Chuckles.] These things sort of creep up on you, I suppose.

SM: I like how our work with Radiaal Moderne just seems to be happening – talking about it now and thinking about all the drawing I’ve done in the last couple of months, and thinking that that’s going to fit very well in the combination. All this is going to work very well together. I’ve been doing these two-tone drawings. I get a bit of Plasticine and weld pens into them and do these two-tone profile pictures, and I was just thinking, “Actually, it does look like when your eye can’t keep up with the lasso.”

JS: Your little archive of pictures that you showed me Robin. It seems to me that it’s both the source material that could go for a book, but it is also the kind of source material that you work from for the wall.

RF: That’s the thing. I have images that stay with me for ages and the more troubling they are, the less likely they are to actually appear in work ? so, it’s the thought of them. Simon hasn’t seen these images. I like the idea that, maybe, we have a stockpile of things that would overlay in the publication that we don’t have any information on, so aspects of this conversation are back and forth, and other parts are around things. So that, maybe, the content of the images is something that goes into the design, and there could be an extra person like the designer working with our material. Sophie Dutton and I, we were talking about that overlay and, also, that there might not be a beginning to this story of it, because it would be ring-bound. It would be like you can…

SM: Flick it.

RF: Yes, it would be an oscillation between the three voices and then this kind of archival visual.

JS: It’s a shame the publication can’t take the form of a Rolodex.

SM: That would be great.

JS: Yes.

SM: A word-by-word lasso [Laughs.]

JS: Simon, can you pick apart, a little more, this move between process and visualisation vis-a-vis your work and practice. I’m really interested how you are so engaged with process, but there is – not so much an image that comes forward – but how that process begins to organise itself within the visual being a type of process-based work that embraces visuality and the sign.

SM: Yes. I think this is why I quite often bang on about studio practice being the most important thing for me. All the work ? although it is process-based ? does come out of a sketchbook practice ? these little passport-size sketchbooks like this [Gestures.] They just get flicked through and worked on; bits get picked up; flipped; reversed; repeated. I may stick pens into them, then make stupid DIY-shaped tools ?I make my own marker pens at the moment ? and then they’ll get turned into A4 drawings and watercolours. Lately I am working from shellac mixed with oil, watercolour, acrylic and inks. When that starts to work, then I am making a lot, and it’s almost like the process has become flippant – but it’s not really – it’s just, when the imagery has been turned into a mechanical dialogue that the process aims to get to that starts the painting, and then it’s a question of however long I can maintain the thrill for ? or the drive for ? the image.

In the beginning, it’s a bit sluggish, and then the hit rate just starts picking up. I had some people round yesterday and they were saying, “Your work is quite process-based, but you always rework work, but it’s not like it is impasto. It’s like you managed to rework it right back to the original history and then pick out and re-apply what you’ve discovered in the last three weeks.” It’s just like doing DIY, as far as I can work out! That’s basically what it’s like – playing around with just inventing stuff – I’ve been using a lot of sprays at the moment. I’m making pictures of the moon and I’ve got a ten-litre drum of emulsion paint with a lid on the paint pot that is about this size [Gestures.] I cut out the inside and the size that the spray comes out of the can is perfectly in unison to what the craters on the moon are like. It’s just some stuff that has been hanging around, and then that gets worked into the transparency of polyester with dammar or thick linseed oil.

I was making something just two weeks ago where I glazed the whole thing with an alkyd resin and then I’ve got these ink drums with little spouts filled with stand-oil and different colours. I am drawing in them ? into this oil; into liquid – and then I wiped it, and where the oil has hit the liquid, although the drawing is red, the liquid is green. As you wipe it, it makes a double note. It looks 3D, but it’s a low-budget way of making something. Then there is an inventiveness to DIY process I just pick up and you can use it, maybe, two months down the line or whatever.

RF: Yes, it’s just like acquiring a catalogue of different ways.

SF: Yes, of making things. There is a really great Morton Feldman essay, he writes about composers – their lives get easier as they get older because they can sit back in their chair and go, “I think I’ll have a bit of this; a bit of this; a bit of this – and I can stick it all together and it makes this.” It kind of feels it is like that. [Laughs.]

RF: I think what I got from that is the idea of tuning into something. You know, tightening it where it needs to be tightened, but keeping it loose enough to resonate – so, what you are effectively doing is drawing on experience but creating something which is like the perfect pitch. I was thinking musically as well – the idea of an accordion note being a compression ? being a really long kind of consistent note. As you’re pushing, you’re actually creating something that is the opposite – it’s getting bigger and bigger. Those two things.

SM:?Yes, that’s nice.

RF: It is like, a compression of everything that’s gone into one kind of moment, that kind of difference.

I mean, you see, my stuff is sort of static in its time; in its thing ? but that moves on in other ways – and that is where, I suppose, writing and presenting and doing all sorts of other things like talking for hours comes in! [Laughs.] That’s what happens, you know ? in-between time.

I’ve noticed ? with drawing and painting ? them becoming less linked. The preparatory work is elsewhere and I can’t quite grasp what that is at the moment. My preparatory work could be just finding a new surface to work on and seeing what that does in colours, I suppose because colours come in and out of my work, and I think, in Simon’s work, colour is really important. It brings freshness to the approach ? and this idea of a negative or a double exposure has a kind of a vibrancy. That’s the thing that re-energises signatures or previous thoughts. It gives it a momentary instantaneous quality that is also about looking at the work, I suppose. That’s an interesting thing, like it lives longer because of that.

SM: I always find that I try to give myself priorities with colour because of the endlessness that we’re talking about and perpetual fluctuation. When I went on holiday I took my watercolour tin ? I took blue and yellow, and I think that was it ? and a dark black ? just so that I only use blue and yellow and you get as much out of that as you can. Otherwise it is a hunger for something you haven’t seen, isn’t it? You just want to chuck it all in and you have to slow yourself down a bit.

JS: You are always pretty good Robin at giving yourself tight parameters.

RF: Yes, I set myself all sorts of walls [Chuckles.] to surmount, I think. Yes, I was drawn recently to selective colour. I’ve been using red and green and their constituent black to make a depth, and that is also a double exposure in a way, because there is an early 3D sensibility with those colours in the way they bounce off each other. In particular, red grounds – they felt like – because of their immense history ? like a Matisse red; there’s something that will always hover and make it lighter than it appears. By having something that doesn’t describe space as a colour, you’re taking something and bringing it into focus or into frame.

I don’t know how to describe it, but, yes, at the moment I’m working on these darts paintings…

JS: Darts?

RF: Yes. For me, they’re the reverse of, say a target – like a Jasper Johns target – they’re in motion, or they might be held in paint. Just darts hovering.

SM:?It’s a bit like watching a film of a ‘plane, and the camera is always up with the ‘plane, but obviously it’s got to be moving. And the darts ? they look like they’re shadows.

RF: They’re just held in the paint. I’ve done it before. I did this painting with two objects; a portrait and a landscape on a kind of L-shaped ground with a big void in the middle (Iota, 2009). These Hungarian engineered shapes called Gombocs mimic the self-righting mechanism of a turtle, so they always return to the same spot. The idea of two of them situated with a massive void in the middle could be like a portrait or a landscape ? the tension is between the two things being stable.

I painted each like a Cezanne ? but they ended up resembling an Apple loading wheel or something because I had no source material. I ended up making up these really colourful blobs that resembled these shapes and, I suppose, the same thing happens with that.

I like the idea that a series of work could be presented as if there are more than on display ? like there’s a potential for a lot more paintings of the same ilk. I don’t tend to repeat that sort of process, so if there are two and they are identical, rather than really abstract or figurative ? it means they match together. It is an interesting thing to have a repetition there, and there’s a reason behind there being two or more. This idea of something traversing is good in terms of – yes – this prospect of an oscillating space.

I mean, we haven’t even talked about how we’re going to arrange things or what we’re going to do with it, but I think we both have got ideas about that.

SM:?Yes, I think it will work itself out.

RF: Yes, yes ? I like that, because it’s like an instant time ? like, we’re going to go right there; put it up and watch it and sit down.

JS: What is the nature of the space?

RF:?Freestanding wall, white space…

SM: I don’t know. I haven’t seen plans.

RF:?There aren’t any.

SM: I think it is about the size of this kitchen, isn’t it?

RF: I think so. We are obviously taking more than that.

SM: Yes, we have five or six works?

RF: Yes.

SM: … and then what we hang … Maybe doing three or four hangs … See what happens…

RF: Just keep working it through.

SM: And have lunch and come back and then…

RF: In theory it’s got so much potential. It’s a strange proposition, completely out of every context because it is put on in another country; a space with no characteristics because it has just been built. So, there’s almost too much in the way of options there already. There’s a lot that can be done in there. But it’s temporary – that’s the thing. They like to build these things like it is going to be there forever, but it’s not. It’s going to be there for a weekend – which makes this project something that is of its own parameters. Yes – Radiaal Moderne [Laughs.]

JS: I was thinking about working against, or with, a given – the parameters that you set up in order for the thing to spin wildly inside of it. It seems that one needs something to push against – a kind of given, a boundary – in order then to be able to move ? that kind of friction.

SM: It is kind of a want or a need, isn’t it?

JS:Yes.

SM: I always used to know what I didn’t want more than know what I did want. I don’t know why – but it’s just, “Oh, I don’t like that taste”, whereas things you do like, just let run through. You don’t even register them. But of late I’ve started to reverse this a bit more. I want it to look like this; or to feel like this; and then you have to … Yes – you start using your little tools to connect it.

JS:?I keep wondering what is, or what will be, the hinge because, for me, a hoop, or a loop, or a lasso – even a lasso – must have something in it …

SM: … to tie it.

JS: … that allows it to turn back over it like a hinge, a proper hinge – and so, I’m thinking, where is the hinge between your two practices; where then might the hinge be in the book even if it doesn’t have a beginning or an end – it still has to have something that it turns around; and then – how then you might work out the hang of the show with that notion of a hinge as well, rather than just working out along the lines of: “Well, we’ve got two artists; we’ve got these walls.” What will come forward as the hinge in the hang of the work ? and is present in the work itself – that allows it to be a continuous kind of hoop or radial loop.

JS: Maybe we should begin with your practice before we begin with this imaginary space that is yet to be built in Rotterdam and filled with the work that isn’t made yet.

SM: [Laughing.] … In a year that doesn’t yet exist.

JS: Yes, exactly – and a publication that is yet to be printed and designed.

RF:?It’s nice. It’s cloud thinking, isn’t it?

SM: I think we both seem to try and go for the same thing, but in completely opposite directions. I think our working practices are pretty much as far removed from each other’s as possible, but we seem to have some sort of appreciation for what each other was trying to go for which I think, seen from the outside, seems like a bit of a stupid thing to try and work together but then, I think it is where fruitful discussion comes from. I think the difference is going to be what the lynchpin is.

If I just think about a lynchpin ? it’s a lasso, isn’t it? [Laughs.] It is basically a hangman’s noose as well. I just thought about that.

RF: I like to think of it as an infinity that’s anchored to the ground with someone turning it. The ultimate aim of the lasso is to catch something, isn’t it? It’s an object that you hold in the air, but eventually it’s a projectile ? it hooks onto something and maybe that is the process here. It’s something that’s up in the air right now. Effectively, it could hold onto something; it could grapple and bring something down. That’s the ultimate aim of a lasso as an object. I mean, it’s a very tenuous link but it’s something that is really important as well. There is something of it that isn’t perpetual; that there is an end to it; there is a reason for it.

SM: Essentially it’s a straight bit of rope you just loop for yourself. I mean, how do they work?

RF: The modern lasso ? they’re almost like a drawstring type of thing. The bit on the end is like a pull.

SM: Like a dog lead?

RF: A standard professional lasso, which I looked at on eBay is a nylon thing. It’s like a dog lead with a choker but, I think, a knotted one.

SM: Like an old control stick?

RF: Yes. It’s something that brings back to us…

SM: It’s really a peculiar rope ? isn’t it ? because it’s not floppy. It’s almost like wire. Well, I don’t know what they use with it. They wax it up or something.

RF: The pull is when it tightens ? once you’ve hooked something. It’s a fluid motion. If you want to bring something down, you wouldn’t throw a rope at anything else, but you would with a hoop on the end. I could throw a bit of rope at something but catch nothing. But then, something like an imaginary space ? it can take all sorts of things. Normally cattle, but it’s probably used for other stuff as well.

There is something of an overlap. I mean, the lasso itself is often drawn like a figure eight ? but that’s just a perspective, isn’t it? It doesn’t cross over. That’s the way it has to move.

JS: While you’ve been talking about the lasso, I’m thinking less of the kind of functional tool of the lasso, and more as this prop for the cowboy, or cowgirl.

RF: … jumping in and out?

JS: Yes. You know, spinning it ? a bit like Simon’s pens in Plasticine. It’s taking something that had a really strict, specific function, but then playing with it out of context and creating a whole new kind of thing which is the rope trick ? the lasso ?That’s the thing that oscillates, otherwise the cowboy’s lasso, catching cattle, is more like a whip.

SM: And that’s the decisive action ? whereas spinning is preparatory or getting ready, all the time.

JS:?Yes.

RF: Is it still a lasso once it’s been thrown ? because of the shape of it. It’s more like a knot, isn’t it?

SM: Once it’s been caught?

RF: Yes. I mean, it’s not, is it?

JS: No.

RF:?It’s a ‘not’ [Laughs.] ? rather than as it is. It’s not being a thing here. I suppose that’s oscillation, isn’t it ? and that kind of fabrication of space. It’s a danger. It’s like jump rope ? skipping. There’s always an element of that coming back round again.

JS: It’s the line. It’s drawing as well ? the lasso, or the rope. I can remember lovely, old 1950s titles to cowboy movies would sometimes be written in rope.

SM:?I’ve been painting these flesh-coloured paintings. When going through the airing cupboard with all these sheets that were trashed were taken to the studio and turned into rags. I was ripping some up and some ? I’m not the most precious in the studio but quite a lot of cotton strings just fell onto this wet flesh-coloured painting and I didn’t notice it. In the morning I saw them and pulled them off and you know ? if you get string saturated with paint and it dries, and you pull it off, you get the positive, and then around the positive you get the negative. So there are these bits of string that shoot through these paintings but the string’s not there anymore. It is just positives surrounded by this glowing, empty space. I’ll take some pictures of that. It’s pretty neat to turn that into something.

JS: No mistakes, no accidents.

RF: That’s one thing I’ve always had a problem with: people think I’ve got some sort of calculating element to what I do ? which I don’t! [Laughs.] When it comes to looking at my work, I think, that’s the thing I’m always striving to get away from ? everything is a riddle or is wrapped in itself. I want it to be open, and I think that’s the thing. I was driven away from making these tight systems within a work, that solid nature or attitude is totally contradictory to the way I’m thinking. Because I’ve done installation that’s involved in the work, it’s something I always have to be aware of given the way I think about things. There’s an impenetrable nature about a lot of the things I do. There have to be open invitations for it to even be looked at, really. There needs to be some sort of reasoning and that’s the reasoning that I see in Simon’s work straight away. It’s almost like the appeal I see in his work that my work doesn’t have ? if you know what I mean ? and there’s something to be said for that in the way our approaches are different but, ultimately, they have a similar aim. Now, you [Simon] were saying that we’re pulling in the same direction, but in opposite ways – I think that creates tension. I don’t know whether that tension would ultimately make a cornerstone work, or a method of working. This is partly the kind of pleasure of working with someone else ? working on a project that’s part of another project.

I mean, Radiaal Moderne has no other reason for being but for being there ? the whole thing being there. You know, like in the Kosinski book, the idea that someone can see things as simply as possible and still penetrate massive ideas through one kind of analogy. That can effectively create questions of all sorts of things.

JS: Which Kosinski book, Being There?

RF:?Yes, Being There.

JS: Yes.

RF:?I’d never seen the film. I’d only read the book, and then I saw the film adaptation with Peter Sellers a couple of months ago. Its treatment is different, but there’s something of unease in it. I’m really drawn to prose that has a poetic nature to it ? that’s why I really like Richard Brautigan ? prose pared down as simply as possible to the point of almost being, you know. Chapters that last a page or kind of sentiments that are really, really, open-ended. That creates as many questions as they answer, I suppose. When you start taking everything out, you are sort of left with potentially, a restriction, but also a real kind of freedom. There’s the freedom ? especially in making the decisions we as artists make; the kind of images I’m drawn to ? the sort of weird perspectives of things looking at other subjects and then you looking at them makes a third dimension that’s not there in the making – something that’s brought to it from multiple viewing perspectives. It’s not even a mirrored gaze. I think it’s something more ‘contemporary’ [Laughing.] ? like the awareness of looking, but also being drawn into something that potentially has no connections ? like a network of thoughts. I apologise, that was a bit sporadic.

That is the kind of thing that would drive a person to distraction trying to transcribe! I don’t think that made any sense [Laughing.] But yeah – I am going for something there.

JS: How is work going with you?

RF:?At the moment I’d had to do loads of cleaning-up from SCREENING, arranging collection of works back to Switzerland for Albert (Oehlen) and travelling back and forth from New York ? doing that sort of thing. It’s almost like I’m preparing myself for like a massive output of work. I haven’t quite got there.

SM: Yes, I’m planning on making a lot just before. When do we have to deliver things? Beginning of February?

RF: Hmm. Tom Cole (Gallery Director, Cole Contemporary) actually said the shipping could be done at the end of January ? like the real end of January, early February. There’s nothing definite on that either. I would be right there with the credits [Laughing.]

JS: It’s later than we think.

RF: Yes. But the good thing is the publication, you know. That’s on the way. I spoke with Sophie about designing it. She knows what’s what. She’s good.

JS: Robin, what was it about Simon’s practice that first sparked an interest in his work?

RF: I first worked with Simon on a group exhibition I organised at Cole Contemporary last summer (June 2010) called The Drifting Canvas, based on an essay I wrote by the same name. The premise loosely considered the nature of effects-based abstraction in painting since the advent of CGI and its production of an added layer of viewing ? diminishing suspense to some degree. His work not only felt a key proposition for such an encounter but also something I could interact with and respond to myself. Simon’s method of refining and altering his working methods to include semiology as well as time-based materials (in the event of both making and viewing painting) became a catalyst for Radiaal Moderne.

JS: What was it about Simon’s practice that suggested a collaborative project might be interesting?

RF: Well, I’ve been greatly influenced by such dialogues in art history and those stemming from the cultural Diaspora when considering digital interactions over the past ten years. It seems as though more conversations and definitions could be made at this moment but instead there is an apprehension or neglect of outside broadcasts, whereas the matter of self-broadcasting is becoming second nature; from minute character-restricted updating to YouTube diary retorts. I’m equally drawn to and suspicious of embracing such networks and this elliptical sense often invades the visuals I collect in the studio. Simon’s drawings offer a rescue or escape from such purely revolving matter and the prospect of mechanical reproduction.

JS: How are you preparing for Radiaal Moderne as a collaborative platform?

RF: One of the most interesting aspects of preparation is the potential secrecy within this publication and the final meeting point at Art Rotterdam 2011. I was adamant that the project has a fixed point from both of our practices, but the provisional nature of an art fair means that slippage is inevitable. I have collected images, Simon has drawings and together these form the illustration of Radiaal Moderne as a document that will actually outlive the event. This thought toward a lasso’s physical shape and rapid oscillation to hold a space for itself ultimately informs the preparation. Some may see little collaboration at all and this would be a timely statement!

JS: Simon, what was it about Robin’s practice that first sparked an interest in his work?

SM: It was the interim show at the Royal College of Art that made me want to see more of Robin’s work. I particularly remember a bowling ball set upon a trunk of wood that seemed to say what all the other work was trying to voice. Whether it made the whole more successful or not, I do not know. The show seemed to be about voices or types of voices – ways of saying?expression without the added baggage that comes with all that. Maybe simulations of expression, or expressed simulation?

The investigation of material and materials and then the type-casting of such a practice worked with and against any reading of the work. The process was important but did not overwhelm the imagery. Equality lies somewhere here in that resonance.

JS: What was it about Robin’s practice that suggested a collaborative project might be interesting?

SM: Initially, I think it was the process that seemed to suggest a collaborative project. An interest in image-based work that strove to embed imagery within a materiality. It was this approach that seemed to push the work forward but the difference in how we went about it made the collaboration become interesting for me through the shear incomprehension in which I asked myself: how and why does he go about it like that? Meticulous is how I see Robin’s practice. He will undoubtedly say that he works in the dark as much as the next man, but it is his patience that stands him apart from me. Our practices seem to run in parallel and then shoot of in different trajectories, which is to say they kind of rub shoulders with each other. If that make any sense.

JS: How are you preparing for Radiaal Moderne as a collaborative platform?

SM:?Well, I could say that, in terms of hands-on duo role-play, we aren’t really. I think what makes us happy in converse is that we both inherently trust each other’s judgment and practice. We have vague conversations and eye each other’s work up and then proceed with our own. The publication will attend to the ideas that will make the show more than just a two-man exhibition. Robin’s source material third-party imagery will create footings in which the work can be situated and I will custom print, draw and sketch throughout the publication. The veiling of work-either by material or painted surface?will appear when we hang the show and work with, against, over and under each other’s painting.