Talking to Tania
|Richard Layzell – Talking to Tania 2|
Day 1 • Friday 17 September 2004 • London
RL I like it
TK That makes a change. You should collaborate with me more often.
RL No need to get smug. You could have actually been here.
TK I was there when it mattered. You phoned me enough times.
RL I was checking things out.
TK Did you really need to?
RL No, I guess it was a device
TK What sort of device?
RL To bring you into it although you weren’t physically there. At least your hat was around. I ended up hanging it off the tripod.
TK Right… Why did you have to?
RL What? The hat?
TK No. You know
TK Tell so many people I was a figment chick
RL I don’t know, Tania
TK You must do
RL It seemed right at the time
TK But this hasn’t happened before
RL It was because your work was on the wall
RL And it seemed like it would shock people if I told them
TK A cheap trick if you ask me
RL Well, not really, it felt at the time it was a cheap trick not to tell them. And some people knew anyway.
TK Did you bottle out? Were you embarrassed by my work?
TK Well, try it the other way on Day 2, don’t say anything about me
RL I’ll try…I’m using the old blue typewriter by the way. I just oiled the keys.
TK Working better?
RL Much better, the ‘W’ doesn’t stick any more
TK I can picture you, sitting there, tapping away about Day 1, with the camera on the tripod behind you filming through the window, Canary Wharf in centre screen. Are you still dressed as a waiter?
RL Yes, but you’d hardly know it. I mainly look kind of dressed up.
TK So who turned up last night. Anyone I’d know?
|RL There was Helena Bryant, Rebecca, Andrew, Pernille and Theresa from DIY2, Anthony Howell…
TK I don’t know him
RL But I think he’s heard about you. Maybe Rebecca told him. He was her tutor at Cardiff.
TK And what did they think of my work, our work?
RL It was more successful than I was anticipating.
RL The whole experience. And the individual pieces. I guess the collaborative element worked the best, and I was a bit surprised by this.
TK Like the Takeaway Table?
RL Yes. It was very popular and achieved what we’d intended.
TK Remind me. Although I thought this was my idea in the first place.
RL It commented on the overall context of these open studio events, especially this one, with so many painters and printmakers hoping to sell something, the £10 postcard exhibition downstairs, and so on. There was more anticipation of ‘making a sale’ in the air even than I’d expected. So the Takeaway Table cut through this, no money required, take what you want. A lot of stuff went. Children were asked to say thank-you by their parents. I asked them not to.
TK So I was right about this
RL Tania, you were right about most of the decisions, even the tepee.
|TK It was your idea to title your grandfather’s chair.
RL Yes, but I had doubts about quite a few things, and even the music you chose was right
TK What is this ‘right’? Do you mean you went somewhere different and liked it?
RL Not really. These were aesthetic, strategic and contextual decisions. And I was a bit uncomfortable with some of them.
TK Any surprises?
RL Beyond that it was successful?
RL I guess the whole experience was a bit surprising. I opened the door of Studio 29 at 6pm, laid out the exotic plastic bowls in the corridor, and that was it, the private space became public. The preceding hour reminded me of that time slot before an installation opens to the public, when there’s stuff everywhere. But this time the stuff around was part of the work.
TK Did that make it less stressful, more intriguing?
TK So you saw it as a show then, rather than an Open Studio? I certainly did.
RL Absolutely. That’s what brought it to life as a project, and where the titling and ‘framing’ came in. Presentation was key.
TK So the audience was irrelevant
RL Not exactly. But the context was big, and probably a bit too much for this audience – passing from studio to studio – to take in. We’d created a performance / installation that explored studio as art. A lot going on.
TK I still can’t get a feel of it, the private view.
RL People hanging out in the studio space, smoking cigarettes, making themselves at home, checking out the DV camera on the tripod, taking stuff away, chatting, interacting, talking to me, asking about you.