Liam Gillick, Interviewed by Tom Eccles
Other People and Their Ideas
Interview by Tom Eccles
You’ve just completed two major projects, From 199A to 199B: Liam Gillick (a survey of your works from the 1990s) at Bard’s Hessel Museum and To the Moon via the Beach (a large-scale curatorial project with Philippe Parreno and others in the Roman amphithe- atre) in Arles. Both share similar artistic strategies of creating a framework of a platform in which collabo- rative actions can take place. The project in Arles also involved many of the artists with home you’ve worked and been associated with since the 1990s. Besides scale, what do you consider as significant changes since that time?
There are changes that are explicit and others that are implicit. The explicit ones are connected to the shifting economics and structural components of the art context. One aspect that is somewhat overlooked is a rise in in- strumentalisation of advanced art where public or foun- dation funding is involved – that biases towards ‘good works’ that may appear to be responsive or open to ‘the public’. Of course, from the beginning we were all very aware of the difference between a public and an audi- ence. There is an audience for anything, but dealing with a layered, multiple and complex public is another ques- tion altogether. This issue of instrumentalisation is much more problematic to deal with than simple pseudoethical anxieties about markets – which are easy to identify and deconstruct…