GANGHUT vs SIDESHOW
Interview for Next Wave/Empire Games
St Kilda Beach, Melbourne, 26/3/06
Written up by Steve Murray
GANGHUT - Kevin Reid, Jason Nelson & Steve Murray
SIDESHOW - Ralph Borland
GANGHUT -but was there a thing, a thing…
SIDESHOW -so guys in the end how did you feel about…about GANGHUT after you've cut up your exhibition, well gave away all the pieces of it?
GANGHUT -it was a good end
SIDESHOW -a good end
GANGHUT -the whole thing was like totally different winit?
GANGHUT -yeah yeah. But I guess maybe..yeah it was completely different. In the first one (GANGHUT) was because I had an idea and I couldn't achieve that idea without other people. I was looking at socialist work ethics, and that idea of you start to work and there's other people you know around you then they'll start to work. Cos they'll feel some kind of guilt. So it was that idea of how much I could play on that.
SIDESHOW -how do you think its different doing it in Melbourne, in the context of Next Wave?
GANGHUT -it was completely different in terms of the original thing was always about a longevity, been there for a long period of time. Intense.
Sleeping in the space, living in the space, so this is a completely different thing. And we were given a restriction.
SIDESHOW -you did work in the space during the exhibition right?
GANGHUT -I think the whole organisation was totally different as well I think that in general the experience was being here and just being involved, meeting interesting characters kind-a didn't outweigh what it was we were doing, but what we done became,
GANGHUT -...less personal?
GANGHUT-no no the thing about giving artworks away and giving the GANGHUT away, which kind-a at the end of the day has all made sense.
SIDESHOW -And it went, all of it, people took all the panels.
GANGHUT-I think I really liked yesterday cos it was like a car boot sale or something but without paying
SIDESHOW -you liked it being like a car boot sale because that's like a ordinary culture thing rather than a art thing.
GANGHUT-yeah yeah definitely that's what we try to do is install some ordinary culture onto things. And that sounds terrible but…
SIDESHOW -no but its interesting.
GANGHUT-its just like going to your work but it's a wee bit different. We're not conceptionally thinking that this is about this, this is about that. We just turn up and go bosh!
GANGHUT-and that's the thing about something being activity based. It's like you (Ralph) said about making sculptures making something. What is similar about this GANGHUT and the last one is that its fundamental starting point was a physical making. And its seems that people were disappointed when they asked what this was all about, and you're saying its well we got the opportunity to come ower here and make stuff. When you say something quite flippant people make the assumption that that's a waste, that it means nothing but it means shit loads. And we worked hard to make it happen.
SIDESHOW -well its interesting your artwork for the container village in a way it's traditional art-making because you made a physical object, and you made drawings so you end up with something concrete, so it wasn't like a performance. It was conceptual but had this formal thing. It was like very everyday. Well yesterday was a interesting day because like you say because it was satisfying for you cos it was like the car boot sale, get it out to the public.
GANGHUT-the take doon as well.
SIDESHOW -also the barriers broke down which is kind of what Next Wave is maybe about, would like to happen. Its actually letting the public into the art work, dispersing it out into the public. It's like visibly taking apart the scenery.
GANGHUT-yeah it's much rather than the usual exhibition where something just appears and then disappears and no one knows what goes on.
SIDESHOW -but it's all out there and quite public.
GANGHUT-your taking away the persona. Where as what we do and what you do as well is you're in the forefront your showing people this is what ive got to show you.
SIDESHOW -well I definitely felt when I visualised coming here I felt like I was gonna be like the proprietor of my space.
GANGHUT -that was what I was want'n to ask you what you saw your role as in sideshow?
SIDESHOW -em...Kind of like that to be the person who can be a public face to talk about the work that's on the show. And also I enjoy that feeling of being like the host, like when I was a party promoter. Me and my partner would always be out promoting, flyering getting people interested, then your the host making sure everything's working. You're manovering this whole vibe. And so at NW I was going to be doing some of that.
GANGHUT -do you find that constant connection existing. Like with ours there was a physical connection with the space.
SIDESHOW -but I thought that you're guys presence there was v very important, cos on a personal level when id come by and you weren't there id be disappointed.
GANGHUT -aw that's nice
SIDESHOW -because your work was activated by your presence, like the 3 of you needed to be around it occupying, like a club house with nobody in it isn't really much.
GANGHUT -that's the performance role
SIDESHOW -but it's more personal than that, you could describe it as performance but its more integral then that.
GANGHUT -but I think there's an element that's a lot to do with role-play and this (GANGHUT overalls) is a costume. And it not a solitary thing, its important for it to be a gang.
SIDESHOW -less individual more connected.
GANGHUT -what I was going to ask you was is the actual collation of things more important than the finished item. Do you feel disappointed?
SIDESHOW -in what aspect?
GANGHUT -you said you enjoy the collation and that's what makes you fulfilled. So when the things finished it's almost like oomph like a let down. Like I could be bothered explaining. Like people would go what d'you mean? And id go what do you mean? But with you the explaing seemed even more relevant with the political nature of the work you were showing you must of felt some days fuck this or I cant be bothered with this the day.
SIDESHOW -well ive got a conflicted relationship with the public seeing my artwork. Essentially that's what you do it for, you put it out there for people to see it. But then because I've had bad experiences of having to be around my work if I'm doing an electronic work, a physical computing project where it would be broken or half working I want to hide or not be near the art work cos I didn't want to have to explain. I made a decision with this project not to do electronics or interactive stuff so I could keep it more simple and pleasurable. And I enjoyed explaining the things to people and a lot of people did start conversations about it with me. They liked the simple things like The Leech. That was a friend of mine when he described it to me a year or so ago. It's just like a neat idea, and that's what I dug what a cheeky little idea. And that's actually what a lot of people around, the artists and the public also liked such a simple thing, just two valves connected with a piece of pipe. But what it suggests about this cheeky kinda. You're not going to damage anything just take a little bit of air from a car tyre and put it in your bike. It amused people.
GANGHUT -do you think that's maybe why we got on so well cos they're is a honesty and simplicity in what we do? We're not giving a frivolous explanation about fucking aesthetics.
SIDESHOW -I think anyone of us can because sometimes we talk about it we reveal that of course we know the theories around it and we know the context of it. But for me it's definitely about communication and that's with Sideshow what I'm definitely doing, it's about clear communication. And you're saying the difference between your project and mine yours was quite process like, mine was atchually quite finished product like…
GANGHUT -to present?
SIDESHOW -yeah presentation, which appeals to people. Cos I've been into this idea of spectacle and pleasure in art, because there was an anti thing in my art school.
GANGHUT -a lot of the work in your space was about the activity or engagement, the little lights and the leech. And you saw when we started to throw up the lights you saw how people go mental, its like giving away something free or doing something like that there's a real engagement or connection.
SIDESHOW -that thing about dispersal I think is interesting because with the project, because one of the analogies I thought about for the space was like a hyperlinked space. All of those objects are like hyperlinks in a web site. Even in a conceptual way in the container is all of these nodes which are lines going out to all these other things. And then you're giving away all the panels and that's dispersal as well.
GANGHUT -one of the similarities with both our spaces as well was in terms of statements, you were given statements and so were we. But our statements were in our head.
SIDESHOW -you mean the artists statements?
GANGHUT -no what we were writing on the walls was things that people had said or traditional statements or what we thought about. Or what other GANGHUT members had emailed us like Graeme for instance said oh I've got a yeast infection, write this on the board. And that sharing of other people's ideas was for you and us an obvious thing.
Go to the next page