On my run this morning I found myself thinking about the large street-facing window of the gallery where I will be showing later this year. The gallery is at a traffic-light controlled crossing, the pavement is particularly narrow in front of the gallery, and the window is relatively low: these factors together with Sweden’s dark winter days and poor weather have made me wonder about temporarily boxing in the window. This would prevent my show being illuminated by the traffic lights and car headlights, and reduced the visual noise in the gallery.
If I do box in the window – make it a ’display window’ rather than a window into the gallery – what do I put on display?
Within the space of a few strides ideas shifted from a glittery homage to one of Eugène Jansson’s blue paintings to a photo-homage to one of his ’athlete’ paintings. Last autumn I was developing a performance which took inspiration from both Eugène’s paintings and my own experience of fitness training. Looking at a reproduction of a particular painting (that I had recently seen again whilst in Stockholm for Pride that summer) I noticed the similarity between the interior in the painting and the interior of the Glitter Ball showroom. I took some test photo’s but when the performance was postponed due to illness the image(s) got put on ice. That photograph could be something for the window.
Running back I had the fun thought to wear my Aviator sunglasses, leather cap and boots in the photo. It would be a nod to Tom of Finland – not that I have such a muscular physique! The idea of adding another gay reference – still historical, but more recent – is appealing and hopefully playful. If I can pull it off then the image would be great for the poster!
Showering after my run my thoughts turned to the proposed title of the show – Transformer*. Of course I should look at, and listen to, Lou Reed’s album of the same name. It is already a favourite of mine. And that’s when it struck me that ’Walk on the Wild Side’ is one of the tracks. Walk on the Wild Side was also Peter Lang’s research course** that I took at the Royal Institute of Art in 2014/15– the course where I started ’Following Eugène’. It seems as though everything is starting to come together.
* I chose this as the title thinking about the artist and the athlete transforming materials and bodies from one thing to another. As well as for it’s potential ’Swenglish’ interpretation. In Swedish ’former’ is the plural of ’form’ (anything with shape) and trans inferring between or ’en-route’. I see myself as a ’transformer’ (English definition) that is I see myself as someone making transformations to materials. And in Swedish I see the things that I make as ’transformer’ – that is shapes/objects that are neither one thing nor another, they are something in between. Listening to an online conversation about how the American food and beverage industry might recover and re-shape itself the correspondents spoke of intersectionality.
** Professor Peter Lang used song titles for his Theory and History of Architecture courses