We caught up with Feng Li, a mystical photographer working in China. You can follow his Instragram here.
There is a sense of mystery in the photographs you take. I wonder whether it is to do with the location and subject. How do you approach your subjects to photograph?
These photos are full of mystery and fantastic feeling, and this feeling is also my feeling of reality. Most of my photos come from where I live and work, it's my hometown-Chengdu, Sichuan, China. I am full of curiosity about everything around me, and I can always see some incredible things in my life.
The fine line between reality and fiction is clear in your photographs. How do you decide when a moment is ready to be taken?
Many times reality and fiction have no clear boundaries, just like I always don't know where I am, and life after tomorrow. What I care about is raising a question to what I see, instead of the truth, and the most important is not the answer, but the question.
How has your work been received since you have began to publish them online?
In fact, my job is photography, and I often take the glamorous photos for it, like business photos. By contrast, I prefer the photos I take for myself, that they are the photos you see. Because these photos have my own life experience and practical thinking.
You have a lot of content, from what I can see on Instagram, how often do you photograph? In short bursts or continuously?
I began to take these pictures from 2005, and will continue to do so.
The level of intimacy in seemingly passing moments leaves your photographs in a stange state of reality. How many of the subjects do you know personally?
My photo is basically a snapshot of everyday moments. Whether strangers or friends, there's no difference when they appeared in the photos, they're the the same as usual, I was only interested in the instant state they presented.
Would you consider your work street photography in the process of making the work?
I'm not just taking pictures in the street, I'm always watching, go where to see where, take a photo when feel interesting, so I can take it anywhere.
Do you photograph with a theme in mind or do you keep photographing as you go?
All the photos are from a series of 'WHITE NIGHT', whether the day or the night, also is not clear real or illusory.
Is your work aiming to be culturally significant? I get the feeling that the images are reliant on a sublime sensation rather than political agendas.
I think my photos are more inclined to artistic quality, especially contemporary art, they have no political intention, and some are just human thinking.
When I look at the photographs I feel like I'm looking at imagined moments conveyed through painting, but they are photographs. Are you inspired by painting? If not, who inspired your work?
I am glad you mentioned painting, I also have this strong feeling. Many times I feel that my photo is very good to express through painting, but it is strange that I have never studied painting, and never systematically studied photography. I don't rely on technology to take pictures, but intuition and thinking are better than everything.
How do you complete the work in a physical way? Is the work meant to be exhibited or published? I'm curious about your final output.
I have participated in some photography exhibitions and art fair in the past years, and also won some photography awards. My works are also collected by some art galleries, and it has been collected in the ' THE PHOTOBOOKS' which published by Phadon press.
Thank you for speaking with me about the work. I'm really entwined by your images, they are a daily source of happiness and inspiration. Thank you for that.
How many followers deems success?
How many people does it take to validate an idea?
Three? Maybe twenty
Are likes real affection?
Do we really care when someone says, I love your work?
Or do we sit within our own battles?
Because it's harder that way. If you have a k in your followers does that mean you equate to something?
How many pms does it take to validate your success?
If you have 39 likes does this mean you miss the mark?
Is it cheating to like your own picture to make it 40 to make yourself feel better?
Is it cheating if you buy likes in Brazil?
Does that count?
Do they need to engage in your practice to count as real followers?
Does anyone need to see your work?
Can they all just be robots and we brag about how many robots don't engage in our work?
What if your mum hates your work?
What if someone hates your work?
Have we achieved social change?
What if everyone loves your work?
Are we lying to ourselves that we are not challenging our own practice?
Is there a mold to fit into?
Is there a recipe to achieve success?
Should we all do what's on trend to get noticed?
Should we sacrifice our dignity to make real change?
How many people will buy your art if it provokes, thought?
How many people love art because of the pretty pictures?
Does meaning mean anything? Does it matter?
Should art be a form of self masturbation?
And is collaboration, joint masturbation?
If people like it, does that mean they are watching porn?
If your work acts as inspiration is that Porn inspiring ammeter renditions of your practice?
If students talk about my work, have I made it?
What does making it really mean?
What happens once you've made it?
How can you explain the depression after completion?
Do you ever stop making work?
Or do we continue making work when we're dead?
In our dreams.
Van Gogh is running around the sky with one ear, making paintings and doesn't care if you like his work.
You have come under some scrutiny over your online social media persona lately. How do you feel about the reactions to your thoughts on recent issues?
Every opinion is granted and accepted. There was a time when I was only listening to the left. And my emotions get the better of me, sometimes. What we are experiencing in the U.K and the US is revolutionary. In my generations time we are witnessing a collapse of the safety net we've had for years.
How do you feel about this movement of right wing sensations?
Concerned. It's the first feeling, anger second, lost, third. The state young people are left in means we are not truly valued in society. Our skills as artists are not perceived as real or useful. We have our voices, and the internet.
How do you feel about the power of the internet today, in political contexts?
It's easier to access people now. But we've never been so alone. We have text bubbles, but no voice to speak out loud. We're connected to everyone, but stuck behind screens.
How do we combat this?
Get out to the environments we live. And if these places are safe, go out to the unsafe areas. Change happens with conversation. Without communication we have nothing. We are left ignoring each other and harboring our opinions and we never evolve. We remain stale. This occurs on the left and right. It's time we get everyone talking and utilizing our online voices.
How has art changed for you in response to the political environment around you?
Dramatically. I never used to care, because I thought I'd always have a free pass everywhere in Europe. But when that gets taken away we respond. We can challenge the actions of politics and democracy, but ultimately we don't let the decisions dictate our life. A lot of people don't have that choice. But the lucky position were in suggests we need to keep appreciating what we still have. And fighting for better, for all. Art, for me is the only way. But being tactful about how it is presented and distributed. I ask you, do we need more fluff? Or do we act for change?
I don't have that answer, but I think that young people have put themselves in a position of voice through protests. What do you now feel when you witness new art coming out?
I feel a lot of change and excitement. I see in some instances of change within the way art for non profit is changing. We lose commercial gain for societal change. It's a risk because we too need to live in the system. But we can navigate without compromise.
In our last interview we had discussed performance and the beginning of performance art within your practice, how has this evolved?
Every day is a performance. Everyday is a political stand. I for one stand for gender equality like a lot of people, but there is still a growing tendency to avoid these topics in higher up areas. The political structure in some places leaves people of difference in severe doubt. Their fight is our fight. Art has the ability to fight and challenge through discussion and decisions, but we need to act. Art itself is a question and the reaction is the measure of success.
Skirts, open leg & ‘gender defining’ material
H&M just released their new evolutionary process of unisex clothing in their new range. Interestingly, the clothes seem precisely like men's clothes, but women can wear them too. When a woman wears a man’s shirt, trousers, jumper, it is normal and accepted. Women’s apparel is so different in cut, feeling, sensation and idea that when a man tries to wear it, sexuality comes into it.
The race for equality has started and finally it’s picking up momentum. Women’s marches up and down, across the world are showing the huge support women have across the world and in even in some governments. The race for equality has begun, and we need to make up for lost time. Apologise and buck our ideas up.
Open leg is accepted in a man’s attire, only if there is a crotch. Skirts are allowed to flow off the legs of women daily and this results in being invisible or stared at – depending on the length of said garment. Gender defining moments have no happened yet. With trans rights being knocked left and right, ignorance towards gender binary ideas and the refusal to take anyone else different than the tradition, of man and woman. The religious belief that a man and woman need to have children stays within many, but we call it progressive when governments pass a law to allow the same sex the same right. Offending offenses of condemning homosexual acts in Africa and other parts of the globe. The ignorance is all around us, and the ears are shut. No one is listening.
Young children wake up with the idea they wear shorts or skirts. If they wear shorts then grab them an action man, one day they will own tools and fix the shed. If they have a skirt, they will grow up with Barbie dolls and aspire to find a man to have children with and maybe one day, become a sportspersons wife. Can you see the imbalance?
These are extremes but pass true in a lot of areas of the world and anything that differs from this idea is not allowed. It is dangerous to challenge gender in some parts. Be brave and take on the task.
Jayden Smith wore a skirt many moons ago, and received a lot of flack, Kanye West was photographed with a skirt on and he demanded it was taken from the Internet. The question is, why is it an offense? The Scots wore skirts - call it tradition. In Asian countries, the skirt is worn by men – consider it normal. But western society goes red in the face when a man wears ‘feminine’ clothing. Long flowing dresses, moving in the wind – this action is only relevant to women. What are men left with? Beige.
The fact that women are the only ones culturally allowed to wear feminine clothing impacts how they are read in society. Imagine a short skirt and high heels and long hair and men walking behind see this scene – they see something they want. It is a chemical reaction based on a form of affection to some degree. Imagine if it was a man doing it. If they knew it was a man, would they still want it, no matter how good it looked. Predators have made the night unsafe for women. Rape culture is boasted among monsters of the night, bragging about how they had her and then her friend, all in the same night. Big men with biceps, spilling over with masculinity to the point where you could deflate them to a child, weak, vulnerable, and due to their actions – lonely.
So, you see, baggy clothes for men, safe clothing to protect their masculinity – will not do. How could it? Clothing defines gender, for men. For women, the possibilities are completely open, but this comes at a price – harassment. To prevent harassment, they dress like a boy, but the girl in them still invites harassment. When will this culture stop?
SOLUTION, if you’ll have it. Fashion branding is something that sways the opinion of what men can wear. Here is a list, men wore girls jeans at one point, skinny jeans were made accessible for men without them being feminine, tight v t shirts are accepted for people who have the right physique, so tell me why, why, is it not okay for a man to wear a skirt?
Clothing defines gender - redefine what is accepted. This strangle on society is making people oppressed, harassed and prevents them from being themselves. Wear what you want, not what your told. H&M goes some way to challenge this and it’s a step in the right direction, however, we cannot hide behind baggy clothes any longer, we need change now and the fashion companies can change peoples opinions on a mass scale. It’s their duty to do this.
Be bold, fearless and wear whatever you want to wear, break the mold yourself, until the world catches up. This effort you make will stride us towards gender equality, among other factors.
Virtual worlds are nothing new. This is not a new phenomenon, since the birth of the computer we have digitalised our environment. The unknown wilderness of pixels upon electrons. We do not look at things anymore. How do we live our lives? Lets make that virtual.
Back in the year 2000, The Sims was created and changed a lot of computer gaming, but beyond this, it went on to make children work out how to live. Through a virtual character, having no money to eat, getting fired from work, being too depressed to even get out of bed in the morning, having smelly bins and that pesky robber always came to steal your tv and you were just too unorganised to get out of bed in time to stop him.
It was when you discovered that you can make someone love you if you keep repeating compliments, flirting and ignoring your neighbours as they try to interrupt your love interest. Then you have children and a baby appears. It was when you discovered that although you had all this money, making an obnoxiously large house meant you were just lonely and it took you ages to get anywhere. It made you appreciate getting a new fridge, when you could afford it and upgrading that sofa from the one that looks like a hospital bed. It even eased you into notions of sex. It showed you that you can't put your friend in the pool and remove the ladder because they will die. It showed you that you shouldn't build a wall around your baby because social services will take your children away. As a child it was just a game, right? But it was a game that reflected reality today, and how we actually live our lives.
As a child we didn't really know that yet.
As we get older, as the washing piles up, the bills come in the post, you forget to pay them and you have to work out your own way of making money. The Sims was a training ground. I would create a character, me, and then a wife, with brown hair always for some reason. Then I'd get bored because I ruined their lives too much, and they were having a divorce. Then create a new one in the same neighbourhood - not a good idea really.
Alexander Norton would come along and flirt with Alexander Norton's ex wife, and then Alexander Norton would steal Alexander Norton's news papers because then Alexander Norton's wife fell in love with Alexander Norton but with a different colour jumper on. Then comes logging into your dads account. Have you seen how his life works? His sim built an extension always flushed the toilet, could cook, had a lot of money and always cleaned the toilet when he needed to. You could leave him for hours, doing his own thing and he wouldn't burn down the house. Alexander Norton, he ran into some trouble. He joined the army but quit, then went into IT but all he wanted to do was kiss Alexander Norton's ex wife.
All of this aside there is a point to this game. It highlighted things in our lives. It was virtual and we could do anything so therefore it was our desires we had. I didn't read up on cooking in the game and I can't cook now. But then neither can my Dad. Maybe its in the Norton genes.
The process of creating a character that wasn't real and basing them on you, setting out what they'll do. In its simplist form, the sims was real life, because we controlled it. Those Sundays sat there in the garden, looking at the screen as your sim turns from 20 to 40 in about 10 hours, you realise that it was all a test for the wider picture. Life.
Its hard isn't it.
Virtual lives now are more real, and take over people's lives. The Sims was innocent. Our virtual realities go down to our jobs, online perceptions and how different we are in real life. Social media is a large percentage of our lives, screens, like the sims, is still our virtual escape. These smooth polished characters, blank in expression until they piss themselves because you forgot to notice that the bladder bar was way down. That resembles when we mess up. Through these connections of social living, relationships, life, failures, sadness, happiness, friends - we found it early on in the game back in 2000. The year of the future, when things would lift off and technology, to my feeling has made for a paranoid depiction of living, if we let it.
This work takes us back to the times and hours spent behind the computer screen and when we just sat there for hours wondering, what would happen if we didn't buy a burglar alarm and if we sold a wall we could get food. This jumbled up world of ours, sent in pixels on a large monitor, made us realise that we are in control of our lives and that they will always be partly virtual in order to maintain our existence within it.
Aleczander Norton, Artist
Where do you look to find inspiration? The human experience. People I meet and things that I feel. I found that the best ideas are the ones that catch you off guard. Sometimes we find inspiration in the most ugly of places and situations. When our backs are against the wall, we create to make us better, in more ways than one. Inspiration can happen at any hour, even when you sleep.
Can creativity save us? Creativity is the only thing that can really set us free. The practical world that makes the cogs turn, but the creative world is the reason were here. If we removed creativity then we would just be numbers and figures and we would sit in silence. We couldn't consume and we would sit in boxes that practically housed us, but our buildings would have no flair. Without creativity we would exist, in a practical sense, but we wouldn't be living.
What's the best piece of work advice you've been given? Nigel Shafran said this to us, as he made us all tea with moldy milk, "you've got to do it to do it, because if you don't do it, you don't do it." This is true, because no ones is waiting for your work, but they enjoy it when you do. So keep doing things, and if no ones knows about it, then you still made it. NO ONE is waiting for your work, so do what you want!
What was your highlight of 2016? Wearing a skirt outside for the first time. Embracing femininity for the first time without being ashamed and evolving into something I knew I was but didn't allow myself to be. And making out with a girl who still wanted to make out with me ina skirt and then suggested we chill and do a make up shoot. That was when I realised I had made progress and so have we all.
What's are you hopes for 2017? Purple, dressing more like a witch. Fully jumping into all projects with full heart and no limits. Making exciting characters and working with femininity even more. Redefining what men can wear and how they are perceived by being fearless with my choices of dress and kindness. The world to wake up and realise that its got really ugly and we need to all have a shower and remove all the shit we've accumulated over the years. Being a limitless artist.
I'm not sure if I believe in praying myself but I believe in memory
I believe in other people's prayers
But not my own
But I believe in energy
I've been realizing this lately
I am spiritual but not religious to any god. I don't think it's there
But I feel humans are connected
Through actions and mind
And there are people with pink auras
- What do people with pink auras do?
These people have reached their limit personally
And they understand themselves
They are strong enough to help
- Are you talking about you?
- I wonder what kind of aura I have?
I believe the only reason I'm here is to help
I think I've had it since a child
Your heart is made of gold
That's your special skill
I think you will always be soft
- I don't ever put myself first... I always support others.. in my work, outside of work, I'm like Noah's ark taking people under my wing and praising them for their strengths and helping them with their weaknesses
-To make them better people.. encourage growth and strength
We're special children
We've been doing it our whole lives
Raised with heart and intelligence
But born with something special
- Your heart is made of gold too bro, I shared a little of my heart with you when you were born, you were my favourite closest thing... and we'll always have this special bond.. your my little brother, my best friend, my soul mate in a way
You are my protector
From day one
Always looked over me
When I was oblivious
- And you are my savior always showing me the light.. we need each other to work
It took me years to come up with this
But it's the femininity that makes me kind
- Maybe I gave you some of that as well with my heart
Maybe you passed that onto me
- You are kind. Always.
And growing up with it was hard
But I knew your gift was special
- I wish I could of helped you if I had of known then
But was scared of how society would allow it
- You mustn't be scared anymore
I thought the other day about witches and healers
A witch gave me femininity
And that's why it's so deep in my blood
It makes sense
That I was talking about you
But witch in a spiritual sense
If you think about it. That picture
When you looked at me as a baby
- yeah In wonderment
That was when
- I was giving you a protective shield right there and then
Your pure wonderment passed to me
- I was amazed by you and wanted to help mum with everything involving you and I was only three
This is a feminine protective layer and I didn't know how to use it but could never forget about it
- Like an invisibility cloak or a magical power you had to learn how to use and control
That's what I never understood when I was younger. But I was always different Like the ability to bring the line between my role as a man
- Maybe that's why I didn't notice, you weren't different to me, you were the same
But to carry it through with blended influence
As a child I was the purest form of what you gave me
But I lost it
- Indeed.. gosh I've made your life confusing for you if it was me that gave you this layer
When I was younger I always knew it was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen
But society is cruel
- What was?
But I fought it and tried to fend it off
But last year I embraced it
- You went against the shield
And hugged it
That's why I became depressed
- But now your using it and in control
I'm the purest form of myself
Because I have the shield now
But I'm just 7 years old
Sat there with you
Munching party rings
Gliding through life
- Your not 7 now..
- Maybe.. why 7?
I've never fully felt like a real adult
It's my favorite number
- Hhhmmm you are like Peter Pan
I'll always be a boy
Until I have my child
And then I'm the man for my boy
- Fatherhood will lead you to manhood
But she's a protector
Her ora is incredible
She's not physical
- Is it pink?
Not sure on the colour yet
- Do you know what colour mine is?
I'm not sure but I can find out
When we hang
I guess they're all pink
But maybe they fluctuate like a mood bracelet
- If hers is incredible I bet it's like platinum or something bright and shines
I think she shines a lot
She was like Bianca
- Do you think she is a witch too in spiritual way?
She's been one her whole life
- like me?
Because her body clock
She never hurt me, I think the situation did
I was too young to comprehend the feelings
- And she was probably to wise to explain being older
Her child face booked me Several times
- How old is her child?
She said to me, you'll find a girl not from here
- Not from wales?
I read it that I was meant to be with someone from a far away land
- Or someone as unique as you
- And show me the light
When we combine we're powerful
- But actually when I think about it, the reason why you show me the light is because you are the light in my life
You asked me for guidance
And you naturally gave off your wonderment
When you met me
*Christmas is about this connection*
The reverent slept on the sloping ceiling
And never woke up
A toe pokes its way up to his nostril
As he picks the nose with a fingernail
His mother had always hated this habit
But since her passing
He could do as he pleased
But as much as the need to do this activity when she was alive
This action now lost its appeal
He recollected all the times he wished he could smoke around her
And then wish they would go
So he could smoke
On his own thoughts
Thinking of this mother and the need to feel like a son
The sensitive ones
You see, his brother was from Memphis
He had lived all his life in Sweden
That is a place in Europe
He spoke with the kind of voice that made nostrils flair
Lead to despair
Its on the fourth floor
He headed to the top
He loved the chipped paint
That trudged against his ugly yet practical shoes
His hair was dirty
But so was the stairwell
So what was the difference in showering
When his environment was so dirty
But I love you
He moanilly asked
With eyes that whimpered with every breath
Why are you such a sad bowl
I'm gonna call you sad salad
You know, I never see you smile
He thought about this for a while
As his infatuation teared his heart apart but also his own life
But she was right
Of course she was
He was a sad, wet blanket
It was always too cold
And there was never enough tea
He even found ways to complain about slow walkers in town
His face rose to a frown
As the puddles race to splash between the boot bases of passers by
Water ripples upwards
Her face looked down
And he avoided her quite stealthily
You see, he thought, this city is dividing me
I feel like my old life is redesigned into a fragmented memory
And my brain is not the same
He thought about this for a while
Took a smoke that he had pre-rolled
In Sweden they called them rollies
But he knew no one cared in this city
His brother had four legs
That was kinda awquard for him
He began to think to himself
And the silence scurries around the room for answers
Something to pose to the question posed by hours staring
Blankly at a wall
His body was tired and failed to mention to him that his only desire
Was to have a girlfriend hold his hand
He realised how needy this made him
And this was okay
Who was to worry about that now
Have you felt how cold it is outside?
Thank god I was given those thermals, he began to think
The mood he got in and the fight with the old German lady
Who had fired him because he used a towel to dust the bookshelf
He looked sheepishly up at her
As if she was his mum
He never really felt like an adult either
But he was doing adult things
These were things that he did, but not very well
The tv license document pended in his head
But he just smoked weed
Nothing was planned and nothing had started
His friend confessed he had farted
When he spat the tea from his mouth and danced around
Truth in douse
His last room mate had told him there was a mouse in the kitchen
He just laughed
And wanted to meet him
Maybe the mouse would sit on his shoulder as he slept
But it would most likely shit
And eat through the internet cable
Your such a sad salad, he thought
Why don’t you just stop feeling sorry for yourself?
He put on his shoes
He had discovered a new way of taking them on and off
This avoided any awquard moments with customers and previous tenants
Why cant I wear my shoes inside?
Have you seen the mud out there?
That’s your reason why
He gently muttered to himself
He dreamed of stand up comedy
And being weird in front of people
Because last night terrified him
Go to hell
That’s never really been told to him
He was scared of how she explained his life
As if she knew the next thing he was going to do
It was all predetermined
He decided to believe
He could see that his body wanted to leave
And his mind wanted to stay
He hugged her
And her frame sprang up
She was special he thought, but in the way of appreciation not lust
In terms of romance
He was not so fussed
For his mind controlled him and stopped him from living normally
He was forever to be alone
Because he had a higher being telling him that he was meant to be somebody
And do something with his existence
When it came to regular life
He failed to blend in
He failed to care
That they were paying him 1,200 pounds per month
And proceeded to complain about the affair that the boss had with the accountant
He saw them make out once
And when he ran past the office
On his night runs
The lights were still on
He knew it was going on
And he knew that his father had cheated
His existence there retreated
He felt defeated
But gained strength through the need to survive
His mental stability was at a green level
Wobbling like a large man trying to balance the tv remote on his knee
His thoughts went back to the moment he was surrounded by free biscuits
Sat in his boxers
Walking to the fridge
he looked at the computer screen
four in the morning
his brain released a press release
as follows -
An angry fist crushes the hopes of dwindling bones that wander through the night
They look for a light in the corner of a gutter as they aspire for an hour to rest their eyes before work resumes
Before their lives are consumed by money
Corruption is evident in this town
Corruption can be see in every corner of the globe
As the water, dew drops off an ear lobe
The news hits home
It feels different than before
When my grandma died I felt like I could handle it
I can handle it this time
But when my grandad died my world crumbled
And she she met him in the invisible land, all I felt was happiness
Today is different but I am determined
I did not cry
But cleaned a toilet which had the American flag on
Spoke to and cleaned the house of a lady who wanted to be an American
But she was German
Fumbled some German to her mother
Trump she understood
For all the things we can feel
We cannot change the present situation
But like the progress made by Bernie
Someone I aspire to be as strong as
With determined eyes
For a prize of freedom and love
I refuse to put on the right glove
I intend to walk the wrong way on sidewalks
I intend to wear the wrong clothes
I will paint my nails
And I will stand there when people look at me with disgust
And that is what we all must do
Stand in front of the confrontational
Fighting for a traditional idea of living
For we are the freedom fighters and every day we fight
Not with our actions
Not with our angry words typed onto internet servers
We fight with our spirit
Our spirit can set alight the devastation that we witness everyday
When we open our doors there are people who hurt us
But there are people who love us
So do not lie under your bed
Hope the next four years away
Is another day
Another day to say
That we wont live that way
That we care more than we hate
And we don’t contemplate
That the Simpsons predicted hate
For I knew this would happen
The world is obscene
But this doesn’t stop me
Pushing my dream
Not of personal development
I can do that myself
But a better world for all
That’s not ridiculous
His favorite customer had just cancelled
What a blessing
What a curse
He might not make it to that house to clean it
He dreamed his laptop awake
And for a moment it threatened to die
He felt as though he was holding its existence
Up with tape
It was raining outside
He felt odd
But could smell green
It hit his brain and made him a little dizzy
Last night he stayed up late
And he could feel it
You see the thing about Michael Krieger
Is that he knows how to treat a cleaner
He knows how a cleaner feels
Told that they are doing it wrong
And working with a dirt canvas with not enough time
His cleaning supplies are stacked up
With replacements in the back
He even knew to duck a little bit when he entered the small, tiny, cupboard
He had hit his head really hard
This hurt him a lot
There was a period of time when he didn’t clean the taps enough
And the cleaning supply danced on the surface
He had been cocky and did his house in 1 hour 17
The next week he did it in 1 hour 30
And focused on the taps
When he was going to be fired from Michael he got upset
In his life he had no real consistency
And something he could know he did every week
And he did it well
And he paid him
And for him the metaphor of Michael was more important than his 22 euros
He was a chance to recover
his legs were trapped with silk based fibres
his mind was anxious because he had just walked into a room
where people were masturbating without release
people were dancing as nipples flew and everyone seemed to be free
he was invisible when he usually is visible
he was conservative in this instance
I want a latex and or PVC skirt, he thought
as he saw the material cling to the thighs of a girl walking past
There was a target set
he looked at it
and discovered it might be possible
HEY, so im trying to convince my boyfriend for us to have a threesome tonight
but hes really high
and were married
and we've never done anything like this before
He said he would only do it if its with another woman
say you'll only do it if its with another man, he replied
it works two ways, he added
of course it does
she looked into his eyes as if they had always known eachother
his legs bunched up on the sofa as he felt cute but not desirable
he never felt desirable, unless he was wearing his yellow hat
at the gallery
a belief system
I don't believe you
when he was told that he had a special ora
I believe you
when he was told he was special
he always knew this
this self realisation allowed him to do things that no one else was doing
he outgrew inspiration
he outgrew organisations
and navigated his way through the side of all of this
he was alone
you always will be, she said
you will need to complete your metamorphis
one, two, three, four, five, six
one, two, three, four, five, six
one, two, three, four, five, six
this made him sad
but this made him realise his own loneliness was not his fault
but the blessing he was born with
the ability to help
he had a job to do
as the five year old said
the world is falling
and I will gather the pieces
six thirty in the morning
his mind does not want to leave
the house was so far away
he didn't want to go
and he knew he wouldn't
he knew he would never get to that house
it was only 22 euros
two FREE hours of working
was not something he was willing
two euros failed to register
as his anxiety rose from the shadows
and he verbally spat his hatred out to all the machines
forgetting he had a card
your vision doesn't work
his eyes failed to open
his eyes failed to develop vision
he was walking and his mind was crashing
for three months
he had not slept earlier than twelve
his body hated him
his vessel was weak
but his spirit was strong
I am a man of god
following the pink church
the big pink church
here, he said, I'll show you a picture
its not as impressive as the picture suggests
he replied, they must have used a 10mm lens to make that impression
he was an athiest
his belief was religion
he preferred a belief system
Christianity is too regimented, he implied
your not so different
you and I
he thought back to his friends who were anti religion
and how he would look disapprovingly at preachers in the street
telling people, that they were going to go to hell
hell doesn't exist
he'll have to find out
i was on the train
and i was about to get on the train the house
but then i would have been late cause of the trains
i called them up and im doing that thursday instead
and she'll drive me
and then i was ready for the second appointment at 12
and she cancelled me
so what was going to be a horrific day
so imma do hot yoga
His eyes wandered in and out
thinking about what he could do today
he had to sort out health insurance
but he also needed to relax
and do yoga
he worried, if he could cross his legs or do any of the positions
what he if broke wind during
did he tie his hair back during yoga?
did he have to go buy yoga pants?
I love you more than life itself
and I must have you
this was what his mind said to every girl he ever met
you pearce my heart with your eyes and everytime you look at me
I am complete
I am free, but the darkness within me
leads me to leaving you
as you leave me
he loved wearing clothes that did not belong to him
he loved the idea that he could transform whenever he wanted
like a butterfly
he was caccooned
five in the morning
lead to six
and he managed to talk about it
there was a point, a moment when his feelings
poured right out of him
gushing away into the hard cold pebble
as he had to make his way to the supermarket
he had just ran into a wall
and recovered with a blue plaster on his face
he was to be put on the cheese counter
and this made him worry
a lady approaches him
HEY, I want a cheese that I can use for a dinner party
he had been eating a strawberry and cream cheese previous to her encounter
This ones really good, he replied
it was the cheapest cheese too, which was why he liked it
He once unpacked Roquefort cheese
and thought, if i was sick into this is would probably smell better
but like all the broken pies he cut with the sharp knife
he was not destined to advise cheese
he was only 17 at the time
but he performed at the highest level of customer service
but the worst record of finding items in the store
HEY, where are the figs?
He didn't know what they were
I'll go find them, he said, and he want to fetch some water
these customers were resourceful
and found someone else
he was good at things he knew how to do
if he had no interest in something he would not do it
he had no care for unimportant things
he cared for his ideas
his idol asked someone for five million for his ideas
maybe he should try the same
see, he was on an ultra light beam
radiating through the contamination of consumer culture
don't walk away from me
please buy this
the payment on my Yacht fell through last week and I need 4million in a week
last month I looked in my wallet to find 60 cent
and three euros in my bank account
He wondered and played around with feeling
dressed up in skirts
and wanted to be girly
flick his hair
and wear red lipstick
he loved the way the soft silk tights would create another layer that made him beautiful
you see it was his legs and law line that made him beautiful, as a girl
His top part was best considered covered with a baggy t shirt that indicated he was skinny
but his legs had a layer of fat that made them round but they were strong
he had cycled many miles
and ran many many many more
his knee hurt in the sex club
he had to stretch his leg out and when he looked down at his foot
the 10 inch high heel made him feel as though
he was loved
he walked around with no skirt on
and just small shorts
he was the tallest in there
yet the most invisible
you look really nice, he thought
hoping his thoughts could infrared over to the girl in the corner of the room
Maybe we could make out?
he looked over and she went
then she was making out with a girl
he was dressed like a girl
would she then be attracted to me?
he sat there
waiting for an opportunity to talk to someone so maybe he could just ask to hold their hand
he was so alone
without the girl layer on his body
he would have been even more alone
but his femininity kept him warm
it was self love that allowed him to be okay
with the permanent state of loneliness
even though, he surrounded by many
Donna, Kayleigh and Emily (Clare)
HEY clare bear, he said as he distracted himself from work
he was seven at the time when he first met Donna
tie me kangeroo down
She was wierd
but he liked her
she was older
she was my sisters age
he was ahead of his time
he felt as though she was beautiful, even at a young age he was intrigued about her
but he was a brother
and little brothers usually don't get a look in
i didn't even know what I was feeling
We sat in the kitchen, around the table
what jumper do you prefer?
I prefer the purple one
he went red
He had given away that he fancied the older sister of the girl he wanted to marry
we will live in kingsclear
and we will wear burgundy shirts
we will continue to hang around eachother
Then one day
he headed to their house in Chineham close
and he never saw them again
Tim was being a dick
and didnt allow them to enter the house again
But it was so cold
I heard her ask
You must never talk to them again, they uttered
we moved to basingstoke soon after
And i remember being sad that I would never see my truest childhood friends again
We had grown up together
but adults got in the way
And now he realized that the time had passed
She now lived in London
got past her troubled spotty phase
removed that attitude and now
she was a london beauty
he was a berlin blunt intrument
Slamming away at the chipping block
Emily, now, had disappeared and the situation was never going to repeat itself
their marriage was held up in the ideas of the past
of a dreamer
held up in customs
waiting to be frisked
and allowed into the country
she was special, he wondered back to her spirit
she had the kind of ora around her that made her happy, but he knew she would make logical choices in life
there is a point where someone can be special and wierd forever
and a point where it goes
and came back
and now it lives through him and allows him to defy something
but her smile and tanned skin
he can imagine his old self
as he was so free
but when teenage years came
he was occupied with a kind of plague
the plague of Callum and Josh's Payne
as he punched me in the chest when I tried to tackle him
He played for West Ham once
but now he plays for Cambridge
for all the promise he had
he had an attitude problem
Midfielder Josh Payne, however, is set for an imminent return from an ankle injury that has limited him to just seven appearance this season - the last back on September 10.
Head coach Dermot Drummy said: “Josh Payne was close to getting on the bench (on Saturday) and I will see how he figures for Tuesday.
He felt every year go by and he wanted to slow down time
but he knew he couldn't
I don’t even know you
I cant connect with you
How can I?
She began to crush his heart with her dainty fingers
Feelings seeps between the fingers
And leave a shrivvelled ripe
I don’t have the words for you yet
He imagined it would be impossible to understand this sentiment
You will meet a nice girl
Not from here
She said to him as he reluctantly accepted the news
His heart set with desperation
Gasping for moments with her
To share the same breath in the cold winds of the welsh hills
Here, take this sketchpad
It was too big for his hands
Sinking into the ground
He was a lost child, lost in the supermarket
He had exhausted all his physical capabilities
His emotions lay there on the steps
As she walked away
Never to see her again
He loved her more than life itself
He lit up his life
And she was gone
How will I ever find you, again?
We will never see eachother
A girl looks up at him
Her eyes look down
As she is caught
In the moment
Of the act
Of the indescribable act of love making
He could never finish
Intimacy is hard
But it is a natural occurance
He had headed to the station pub and we had little time to drink a beer
It was cheaper than here
They lived in a capsule of time where everything was shit
But they didn’t mind
Now that he thought of it
He was a child
He has started up what would then be a smoking habit
For god sakes
Delving into chocolate
Like the caving dreams that replicate the internal maddness within
My heart aches
It is the heart pain
Said the doctor
What do you do for a living?
I want to sleep next to you, he thought
More than anything I want you to be with me always
But if you go
I will never judge
I want nothing but your weary bones
I want your spirited revelations
I want you
More than anything
He expalimed these gasps
Sausages, chips and beans please
That’s all I need, the child inside thought
This guy is such an idiot
He will never get there
Catch some rays
You’ll see another day
In the shadows of our temporary homes
You will be somewhere else
But these walls live within my existence now
Step on my ladder
As I sleep daze
Hazey from the Sunday night
A night to rest
To conclude the week
I trip on the cold hard alluminium stairwell
He just sits there
And draws me
My clothes are missing
He wondered, where on earth did my hat go?
I must have lost it in the invisible depths of my many coats
He spills his feelings on the floor
He stops to pick up a piece of his heart
And then I give it to you
Here is a gift, he says
But he says this would utterence
Every sentiment he sends out
He never really allows him to fully say what he really means
He thought about coming to your house to give you some eye drops
Because you can’t see right now
And within twenty minutes you will be paraised with darkness
Me into you the depths of your thoughts
I might swim or fade
I might leave something in your memory
And you can see
What you really mean to me
Imagine a world where there is nothing to fear
In this room
The fear drives him to achieve
Things that push past the dates of the year
They mean nothing to us
Just mentality shifts
That’s so true
The new year just marks a new number
We live the new year now
The lead up to a holy day
Most of us around here are not holy anyway
I think my vessel just sat there right in the road
I give up
I cant stand up
But I cant stand it
Sit down in the walk way of a train
Ruffled coat feathers
Dreaming of a new coat to wear
Crashes into the calamities of the existing few who still believe
We have to be somewhere at seven thirty
She said to him as they met
He had rushed twenty kilometers
To get to a place
And he needed to leave
He couldn’t stand the awful rendition of silent night
For his night last night was not a silent night
But it was born from the light of the masses
His long legs entered the black walled gallery
Wondering that this is a gallery and this is exciting
These lines are cool
they looked at them from afar
You had moved too far from the consciousness
Have you seen it yet?
he drifted to see the picture on the wall
Is that my room? He wondered
What is this I see
I cannot see it
She lead him to a name on a piece of paper
His heart sank
He had chased his name on a piece of paper with others for centuries
And now this was looking back at me?
This can’t be
He looked again and saw his poem
Was it a poem or a story
How could he know how to define the mind guff
And the literal fluff that escapes him on the moving tracks home
He felt a surge of happiness
And looked at her
He lightly squeezed her arm
He wanted to burst into tears
But that would ruin his make up
you like it?
Her face made a y shape
Eyes lit up with excited, prancing
I can’t believe
You exhibited my prose
I cant comprehend
I feel so warm inside
He looked left and a mustashe smiled at him
I didn’t know about this
He wanted to hug her for eternity
For it was not the exposure his words would claim
But the belief
That he should write again
Plunged deep into the depths of my past
He thought he would always come last
I cant believe you exhibited my poem
I only wrote that two days ago
She was sent from another place to guide him
They guided eachother
And he knew that her heart was special
For this was not a normal occurance
And he wondered if he is capable of such an action in return
I love you so much
How did you make it so?
How did you even think of doing this?
It was easy
I printed it at the university
And then spell checked it
What does the word pearce mean?
He replied with a logical answer
He saw the work printed on the page
Please never change
I don’t even know you
I cant connect with you
How can I?
She began to crush his heart with her dainty fingers
Feelings seeps between the fingers
And leave a shriveled ripe
I don’t have the words for you yet
He imagined it would be impossible to understand this sentiment
You will meet a nice girl
Not from here
She said to him as he reluctantly accepted the news
His heart set with desperation
Gasping for moments with her
To share the same breath in the cold winds of the welsh hills
Here, take this sketchpad
It was too big for his hands
Sinking into the ground
And she was gone
He could never finis
It is the heart pain
Said the doctor
What do you do for a living?
I want to sleep next to you, he thought
Career and crash into bones walking
Now crunching in the sea of swimming blood
Viscous like the tepid sensation of existing
The wheels turn
The people don’t move
Like a passion fruit on the chopping block
Metal sheers down the runway
To a plane that has gone missing
Never to be seen
The twelve who stopped
It was nine once
He sat there wiping a desk
Blankly staring at the eternal depths
Of what humans would do
He didn’t cry
He didn’t do anything
He went to work
And he did his job
His mum loved Christmas markets
They were all she wanted to do
He was a busy person
And didn’t care so much for the experience
but he would go for them
because they came here exclusively for that
and to see him
metal screams and the bodies
in the shadows
fingers eeking from the light
the heart beats have stopped now
water runs on the surface of the table
but he goes on to proceed how special he is
but he never proves it
but an older lady came on the U bahn
eleven minutes till about six
be on your look out
she said to him
it was full
everyone was too busy about themselves
He went to ensure she was not crushed
but she was tough
a real lady
hard reality set eyes
but a beautiful
looking defiantly at the back of a sweaty stranger
He moved his foot back in the train to make sure she was not collided with
His actions achieved nothing
but his heart re surged and rose higher as the situation formed
It was never the end
the forgotten souls wash up to his feet
speak to him about all sorts of things in their life and he listens
he doesn’t own much
he doesn’t spend much money on possessions
but his time is valuable for them
He sat on the train home from London
a wallowing Irishmen crashed down on the flimsy table before him
wallowing and howling
the people stare at him as if he is an inconvenience
without context he is an inconvenience
to him at first he was not ready for the conversation
my friend died
my best friend died
twenty minutes ago
he killed himself
he had a child
he was my best friend
he spoke to me as I was the only one listening
a stranger on the opposite side of the table
im happy he found me
and not someone who would have ignored him
I need to play some music
he demanded to him
The sounds of Irish pop bands can sooth the souls of big tough Irishmen
swimming around in pain
like a small paddling pool of feelings
not knowing how to react
so he makes noises
I can see his heart breaking
the tears churn down his face
He could see an atlas of his life
where he had been with his best friend
dissected his whole existence in a small eye line
I can offer you cds, he said
I didn’t want the cd’s
I didn’t have a cd player
There was the acceptance that he was gone
and I cried for him
even though I never knew him
I’m gonna come to Brighton, East Croyden is shit
he didn’t have a ticket
he gave him ten pounds for the ticket on request
but he couldn’t bring his best friend back for the man
restless and wrestling with feelings
dying inside because part of himself
physically died too
spare any change mate
big issue darlin’
his face swept down like a puppy who has no food
He could remember the smell of his shoes
the electricity box he sat on
I tried to kill myself last night, he said
rocks in my backpack
I just couldn’t do it
he got up
looking for cigarette butt ends
to form a cigarette
its amazing how much people waste
he came along and smiled as he arrived from work
and he smiled like he was a child again
his life was treacherous
like the caving in walls and he kept it all out with his big shoulders
he was strong
he had to be
he was wearing my jumper
He received it when he was 14 and he gave it to him
A christmas present I once had
was now his
We sat there
talking till the hours flew by or there was a needed drug deal to go down
that was usually when he ducked out
he shook hands with all the people he passed
you owe me 40 pounds
he always said he didn’t
he knew him
and he knew what he did
but he knew he had a good heart
He sat after work in his room
where do you live again?
he ashamedly said,
just up there
He wanted to offer his room
but he knew he needed it
he found out the following:
- he was part of the IRA
- he had been in jail for arms charges
- he’d been married to lots of women
- he could draw and paint
- he took heroin
- he had a great sense of humour
- he thought hitler wasn’t a bad guy
- he was a muslim
- he once lent him some of the nicest smelling turkish oil
- he wasn’t a bad person
- he killed someone
- he was waiting for a house
- he had people that he owed money
- one day we’d split a 10
- he had a good soul
- he was lost
- he realised this potential too late
- and now his children were there to help
- and he didn’t want it
- but he did
- but he couldn’t live in the North
- his brother committed suicide there
- he couldn’t go there
he texted him to say where are you?
he was getting rid of a mirrror
He missed him
and him missed he.
He messaged him
but didn’t get a reply
he missed moe
he missed his conversation
he was a brother to him
and him was a brother to he
he hoped he saw him upon his return
he would wait for him
so they could share one more moment together
before he never returned
The power of art in a room full of artists
Art is a powerful tool if it is used right. The audience justifies its existence and it needs to be witnessed to be heard. The art is made to cure the soul as it's main instigator. But what happens once it's created, shown and eventually digested. We feel full when we leave an exhibition, poetry night and we digest all the good fats that make us think. But we usually forget about it soon after. It comes up in our minds from time to time. But art is inherently selfish.
How do we escape this selfishness? I'm not sure. Once we digest it, it feels as though we have achieved something, but we have not. We need to act. We cannot go on as consumers without action. We are part of the problem of art lobbyists posing as artists. I love art, I hear them say. But all this does is fade away. How can we make change, when we are surrounded by artists? The left talks to the left because it hates the right. Right talks to right because it thinks it's right. The same goes for artists. Work makes it's way onto walls and talks to other artists for inspiration to create new art. New art is made and the cycle continues, but how does art make change? We know how. Of course we do. We are artists. But what about other people who do not consume our sacred fruit. That we conjure up for personal gain. We need to remove the self from art. And by doing this we need to delve into ourselves for answers to our questions and then ask the same question to others. We need to communicate with people who don't think they want to consume art. We need to allow them in. The white gallery wall is a dead space because of its exclusion and it's audience perpetuates it's existence. Artists make art happen, continue and eventually end up talking to its self. We are preaching to the converted. It's like an out of touch politician who doesn't know how to relate to the people it wants votes from. It always scrapes by.
To consider the power of art we are left in a difficult situation, it's all we can do. But we need to communicate to more than just artists, otherwise the whole endeavor achieved nothing but self fulfillment. We need to move past self fulfillment and enter a space where everyone can make art, not just artists. Because art is made by people who do it, right? So then if people want to make art, then they are artists - by literary definition. To get art out of its circle of agreement we need to put it to the cold, blank stare of the passers by. The people who do not need art to survive. Whether or not they want it is yet to be confirmed, but making art a more welcoming space for people to make it, from any background will open up its infinite possibilities. We all know how great art is, but do they have the chance to, if they want to. We cannot ram it down people's throats, but we must be more welcoming to make art a space of thought for everyone, not just the privileged few. Art will evolve in ways it's not even ready for, let's call it creativity for now.
if you think about it, we put our money in the bank, then pay for things with numbers in our bank account, that is paid by our jobs, into our plastic cards, and we never really see money as an object, just a number. But if we didn't need banks, then there would be just cash that transfers around the city. banks cause financial crisis's by borrowing and lending too much, its pretty messed up that our money starts off as ours and then gets sent into this scary pool of numbers. so when the banks go, where does our money go? something that makes society sound so ridiculous and money has become more important than human living. if we walk around the underground, the U bahn, we see adverts, all we see, do we stare at a wall, or do we stare at an advert, ok, stop looking at the advert, we look at our phones, our phones also hold information to sell to us, and our information and wants and desires are a currency. a currency for profit, for large corporations to keep us down and them wealthy.
and then i looked at a poster for a gig, and i saw creativity, and i felt sorry for all of us, because that was the only thing that didn't feel like it was looking to get us / me / you. creativity is the gift that keeps on giving, it sparks thoughts, feelings and all sorts of positive beliefs.
living in a society is a very strange idea, where everything is accounted for, i first registered, then i get a tax ID so i can work then i need an IBAN etc to get paid virtual money, with a job that takes my time away, time i could be living, but when we don't have a job, we cannot survive, so we can't live, because society is set up for us to work in the system or not.
if we fall out the system, like so many people in the world, we are left on the street like a used can, crushed and thrown in the corner, for people to either look past you or give you small change, maybe enough to eat something, maybe enough to survive. it is only when you need to set these things up again, we realise that this is all so morally wrong. when we have politicians working with highly swayed media to advertise to us, the little people, because we are the people who decide on where the country goes, from three options, but these options are not always good. what a shame it is, after all the horrific happenings we have seen, all the cheating and tax avoidance, brutal murders linking to nationalism, that the world is closing up its borders, instead of lovingly welcoming people, people who are fleeing from their countries.
a conclusion i can come to from this is that people have been so desensitized by society and living within its boundaries, that we do not want to help others, but that seems unfair, but that can be the only explanation for the whole world.
we are told we have all this freedom, but we don't. we just have four options, red, left, blue, right, green, left, purple, fascist. the same model applies in different variants worldwide.
we are not free.
we are forever to live in society if we want to survive, but society is there to trap us to keep us buying, pointless things that are sold to us on our devices, our phones, to apply for jobs we need the internet, if we don't have it we cannot apply, unless its the 1 in 50 that takes paper applications.
if we don't have access to the internet we do not have the chance to have much within the boundaries of living, and so, i feel as though, there is no way out of this trap we are in.
and in setting up all of this in a new city, i feel as though we are all stuck unless we free ourselves. but how?
Are people following it because it's Kanye
Do we have our own style if we wear the clothes made by others
Can we feel like we own our own body image or style if we wear an idea and product of someone else's imagination
How about we make our own reactions to how we feel to create a new form of fashion
Our own clothes
Designed for ourselves
Or delving into different ways of expressing yourself with style
Is there a way of having this
Or are we so obsessed with consumption and the need to rely on someone else to dress us in the morning
A Kanye shirt costs $140
I wanted one
But I felt strange paying so much for a t shirt with his ideas and notably his mother 'Donda'
How wierd would that be
Today we present, Aleczander Norton, a photographer, Illustrator and writer. Through the three mediums he has begun a journey into self-discovery, liberation and our place in the world. Although he is on the early stages of his development, he seems as though he is picking up a sense of urgency and it can be felt in his new, homemade, works.
Firstly how have you been? That seems important in your practice.
I’m exhausted. I would say. The past two months have been really exhausting but rewarding. I have made my way out of a lot of ideas I used to hold closely, and I threw them away and I’ve started from scratch. Apart from that, I’m feeling pretty good.
What kind of things did you discover in these two months?
I learnt to let go. I learnt to stop worrying and I stopped thinking and just did. It was grinding me down always thinking to myself I was not able to do things. That felt really restricting and really daft. It got me thinking about what I can do, with my current resources and my situation. It feels more like grafting and removes a glamorous edge to your life, but it’s liberating.
I can imagine. How does your work now feel? How are you making work now?
I would say it is open now. There is no limit to what I can use. I found myself wanting to do performance based work, which felt like a natural step once I confessed that I dressed up, from an early age. It seemed right to get this out in the open and have people discuss the subject, finally, after many situations people are in leading to sadness.
What did you confess? How did you do it?
I told people individually, overtime, but I also made steps to tell people in bulk. I have dressed up in Women's clothes for many years but never showed it. I never told people about it. It was a secret. But I decided one day, that I knew what it was and how to manage it. Life seems to make sense now. It’s a good feeling. I told people on Facebook and the response was overwhelmingly great. That made me realise that there's nothing stopping your dreams, no matter how farfetched they seem. I have recently just performed in Brighton before I moved. It was a show called Zie and seems to have gone down well with the people I was hanging out with when they came down.
You mentioned you were a photographer first. How has your practice changed since this realisation?
I did an article called ‘Goodbye Photography’, (no reference to Moriyama’s book), but it was a statement that felt right at the time. This was before I had exposed the secret of dressing up, many months before. I decided to leave the photography world after a rocky stint trying to integrate but still make work. The two struggled to communicate for me. I had to bury my head in the sand and make work the way I felt I needed to. As a result, photography failed to tailor to this need. Drawing and writing, photo booth, self-portraits, that was the way I wanted to get this across. I stopped being a photographer, but it’s always there. I had a nice feeling before I moved to Berlin, I photographed my friend and she was looking up to me as I was packing my things. I took two pictures and for the first time in months I felt that magic come back. It felt right to pick up the camera again. Enough time had passed.
What prompted the move to Berlin? How did you feel about leaving all the things behind in Brighton? Did you have things set up nicely or was it a struggle?
Brighton was a balance. I had a family there, friends that meant so much, and a steady job, nice view of the sea. I could have stayed for a long time, however I felt that something was stopping me being completely happy. I felt there was something I needed to do before I got more sensible with my life. I took everything for granted in Brighton. In Berlin, even eating feels precious. I have only been here two days. I can already feel it. My mentality has shifted. To set up in Berlin seems so difficult and scary. I really have no idea what I’m doing, but I can feel something in my stomach that it can work out, if I work hard.
Your older work when you were in University, how does that seem now, after your change in direction?
Completely separate - almost. I learnt the basics at university and when I left no one was waiting for my work. No one needed it, not for a deadline, not for my peers. Everyone dispersed apart from the close ones. But years after they disperse and real life happens. I held onto university for many years. The work feels like early steps. However they formed the base of my practice now. I know exactly what the work is meant to achieve and it is carried out to help myself and help me work things out. However, an eye to the audience happened when I was in university and that is something I am learning now to integrate more, to take it away from being about me, and it being about others too.
I see you have been writing for your own platform for a while, how do you feel about being a writer within photography, once you are a photographer?
Writing came from when I was finishing university. I was frustrated with the structure of photographic writing and referencing and all the things that made it scary. Writing shouldn’t be scary - it should be poetic. It is beautiful. But academia made me feel like it wasn’t possible to achieve this creativity within the course. When I left, I was free to do anything and that was liberating. I began writing about students work on a tumblr blog, which has taken many forms. It has changed its name a lot, new ideas came in but I settled on La Pina, because it felt as though that was a heart felt reason. I was passionate about photography but knew its limitations. I was frustrated with fruit being the only subject I would see online, and I came across my own. I found a pineapple on the street and it was crushed by a Mercades (my favorite combination). This was the most popular picture (for me at the time) that I had taken and it felt strange that it was of a fruit. La Pina was born from this image. It was a metaphor for what photography stood for at the time, and it highlighted how infectious trends in photography can be. I made the decision to keep writing until I had nothing else to write about. It has since evolved into a whole range of responses, from video podcasts and discussions. Once you’re a photographer, you can write about photography, keine probleme, however, it does get in the way of your practice. And you feel as though you cannot really make work with full commitment whilst discussing other people’s work. This is where the writing stopped but then after a break, evolved so I was discussing my own work in depth and discussing things more fluently than when I was first starting out. I was doing some unpaid work with some companies that were getting a lot of followers, but I felt like I needed to take on my own platform with full commitment. This is where it currently is now.
How would you describe your work over the whole time span of making it?
It has evolved a lot. It has become a lot of different mediums over time. I first began taking pictures on a phone, then did gig photography however that did not feel like a practice, I was learning the technical elements. But when I went to university something clicked. I felt as though I could make work on anything so I made it on people, I made my way into a troubled area in Newport, Wales to discover some incredibly kind people. I was the outsider for them, 19, moppy hair and scared as anything. From then, I decided to make work about myself. This came with it’s own insecurities as you make yourself the subject, so you had better be ready to expose some things. I developed a thick skin about it and this felt like a good idea. From then I documented love, falling out of love, depression and traveled a lot. It has taken on a lot of elements over the years. I am at a good point with it now it seems.
How have you struggled with fitting it into the social side of art, the exposure of art works to an audience?
It has been a rocky path and I struggled a lot with this. It wasn’t why I made the work, but it needed to be addressed. Writing about photography gave me the idea of what it felt like for the people I was applying too. It was used to learn the other side. The two have this constant power struggle, but I always know that my practice always wins. It is a very fast paced world and a lot of exposure lasts for a bit and then is constantly topped up if you are lucky and have strong enough work. I have just been standing by the side of the pool. Curious and busy making work and one day I might jump in if the right person asks me to. It seems like the healthiest way to deal with the art world, personally at least.
It’s a bit like writing your own birthday card, then opening it and being happy to see it. We need others to feel special. Natürlich.
Thank you for your time, I wish you the best in the future.
Turn and face the strange
What does it mean to be strange? I’ve felt it, but never felt it as strange. It is a natural occurrence, an action I do not even contemplate. I just do.
Take me to a factory, she says as the wind blows one way, then the other. My shoulders ease into the role of the strange. Comfortability only comes once the silk is between my legs and the air roams around my body, it is then when I decide to let people see what is deemed strange. Entering a different mentality, I'm shifting, but I'm loyal to base character. It is just a temporary stop; I’ll be home soon. As the eyes sink into a kind of comfortable ora, nothing exists once this has taken its course. Turn and face the strange, because the strange is something that allows me to always remain a happy human. Without turning over my past life, the temporary space creates a strange land to recover from living.
Zie is about the notion of gender as a performance, one given to us at birth. During the performance there is a dialogue of what this idea means to me, and how it relates to the wider spectrum of social norms and gender roles. In an evolving world, we are still all bound to typical ideas of what we should do and what we should look like, if we are male or female. The gender neutral pronown 'Zie' is placed as a suitable metaphor to openly discuss the wider issue.
This was performed on the 28th September, 2016 at Marwood Cafe, Brighton.
This started it all for me. A person, who I discovered at 14 years old, the college dropout. Although I was not in college at the time.
I remember hearing through the wire, like what is this, it sparked something. It sparked something within. I remember hearing the beat selection and how it varied so much from 50 cent and eminem at the time. And, I found myself lost in the albums.
Hooked from an early age, he slowly became my biggest influence. I was at college, I went to the printed with all my files to print and came to collect them from the printers. Walked back, ready to hand in, and that moment. That moment, I will never forget. It was a moment that made me implode from the inside with hope that things would get exciting. And they did.
I realised my potential at 17 and have not taken my eye off it since, and Its slowly being chipped away at.
Last call, twelve minutes, got me feeling pretty hyped when I was working on my own things, and I loved the concept of a talking track, which has since been retaken over and over and over which only gives credit to Kanye. He talked of his journey and he made others feel as though they could also do this and well. It was exciting to hear. Raw and passionate and the spice of arrogance that has taken Kanye to where he needs to go.
Upon reflection, I see his musical influence, as one, but his personality too, as a huge inspiration. We can look at that in several ways, and his personality can be read in several ways. If you don't get him you don't like him because you would assume he is an asshole. But, if you listen to his music, and see him interviews, look past the facade created by fame, we are looking at an unbelievably impressive person. It is ideas.
He has been thrown into the spot light and tussled right and left like a lion, and his reactions were to react. Then the ideas started coming and it was just power. It was really exciting to see such a person rise from the ranks of music, but on a more art level, instead of just sound.
He actually had something to say.
Not everyone can say that these days.
I was in a tough spot emotionally and discovered a sadness that I always knew was there, but just didn't understand it. I would play The Life of Pablo, because it had a powerful feeling that managed to irradiate anything bad creeping into my mind. The narrative swept you up and you had no choice but to follow. It was carried with conviction, pure power.
The album may have come under scrutiny due to the subjects he talks about, but like most of his albums, he is dealing with his life at the current moment. If he is surrounded by famous people and money, then he would then talk about that because he wouldn't need to talk about anything else.
I had a talk with someone about the album and he said that the new album didn't take the fans into account. It was no longer catchy, were his words. I went on to say, his progression as an artist is for himself, not to sell album, he is kanye west, it will always sell. His progression is our progression too, and he shouts, swears and bellows for change. When he discusses famous people, people don't understand his music, because it is irony and he plays off this all the time. He is a misrepresented person, I believe and this is down to that fact that people see him as an asshole, but in fact, he is just honest. Famous people are not always real, because they do not live in a real world. Kanye discusses this but has removed the filter from his twitter page and lets anything go, and that is something we should all try to do. There is so much going on in our heads, lets let them out somewhere.
Regarding the twitter breakdown he had after the album was released, someone I knew said they would do a new project where they would insult him over twitter to see if they would get a response. I didn't get it, but I politely played interested to save face. But it is this anger and hatred towards the man that leaves people not willing to understand his music and feel his beat production and feeling that is powering through. It is after all, doused in arrogance and it is abrasive, he says things that he shouldn't say, but much like Tyler the Creator with his worrying lyrics, you cannot take them seriously. You have to look at them as a metaphor for the situations across the world. To the person who says he doesn't make music for fans, there are bigger and more important things out there than pleasing fans to make money, that is not progress, that is not anything. Music has the power to change and create something through the widespread reach that the words get. Through the medium of being an artist, he can project his thoughts to the world to try and highlight the things that are wrong in society, at the same time maintaining his lifestyle that he has earned through hard work.
We can look at his music and say, I like it, but he's so arrogant. Or, we can take it as both are the same. And, his personality is the music and the music is his personality, but the lines get blurred to create a fictional world. The claims to Pablo, Picasso, the hail of being a lyrical genius, they are all ideas around his confidence to succeed. It's like a kid saying, look at me, I am David Bowie. It is aspiration, because we live in a generation today, where we are told to look up to people, but never succeed ourselves. Famous people are there for our entertainment, watch them on the tv, listen to them, but you will never be them. Forget that.
His music is a message to say, you don't need to look up to me, because I don't care about you, because why would he. Why would we care so much about him? Why would we have debates about how it is immoral to like him when he interrupted Taylor Swift.
How is that even a conversation?
The fictional character that shimmers between his music and personal life create a balance where we are shaken and given something but we are sometimes too stubborn to see. You can see him as an asshole, or you can see him as someone who is pissed off at the world, who is angry about the happenings and wants to make a change through his position of power. He is not abusing that power, merely aspiring for change, always.
And so I go back to when I was handing in my college work, you think we can still get that deal with Roccafella? You think I can make it to university, you think I can get to America and go on my own, you think I can qualify as a teacher, you think I can turn my biggest secret into a practice, you think I can run two marathons in seven days, you think I can conqueror depression, you think I can leave my whole life and start a new one somewhere else.
Listening to Kanye from an early age gave me the passion to not care anymore about all the things that go on, to stop you dreaming, and instead turn that into a drive to show you that we are all champions.
So I ask again, you think we can still get that deal with Roccafella?
How many times have you said sorry in your life?
How many times was it a valid apology? Did you need to say sorry?
sometimes we say sorry for being ourselves, sometimes we apologise on behalf of other people’s insecurities and tone down the way we are to apease others.
A lot of this comes from angst and frustration towards the norm and we do not want to break it for others, we just don’t want to take the same route.
you know those moments when you get lost in the eyes of another and they take you somewhere, when you run around with complete excitement and jubilation.
This is something that relates to normality, the need to be normal so we are blending in, leaving us blander than the grey buildings around us, as hollow as the dead trees in the park
These are all constructs we don’t need.
All we need is money.
Then we need happiness
I don’t mean that money is the provider of happiness
But happiness comes once we have somewhere to sleep
All we need is shelter and food and survival is taken care of
And then the adventure begins,
This adventure can be anywhere, it can mean anything, it can create any situation without the financial backing needed to have fun.
The phrase, ‘ive got no money for fun’ is a ridicluous statement.
In most cases £5 is all you need, unless you live in london
(but then there are many reasons that london is probably bad for your health)
LETS VANISH INTO THE POOLS OF OPEN MINDS AND CREATE SOME KIND OF MAGIC EQUATIONS FOR LIFE,
RE THINK THE WHOLE PROCESS AND MAKE SOMETHING THAT MATTERS
MAKE SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE INSTEAD OF GOING SIDEWAYS.
WHY ON EARTH WOULD WE WASTE TIME, ADORING PEOPLE WE DO NOT KNOW, WHEN WE SHOULD LOOK TO OUR LOCAL HEROES
THE PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES THAT STRIVE FOR MORE, THAT DARE TO DREAM FOR THINGS WITHOUT PROFIT OR CAREER GAINS
YEARN FOR FEELING, EXCITEMENT AND A FUCKING GOOD LIFE,
WITHOUT ALL OF THAT, YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING
IF I DIDN’T HAVE MY PASSIONS, I WOULDN’T BE DOING ANYTHING INTERESTING IN MY LIFE, IF I WENT TO WORK, THEN WENT HOME, THEN THERE IS NO POINT OF WAKING UP THE NEXT DAY, WHAT IS THE POINT OF AN EXISTENCE LIKE THAT
WE NEED TO BE BREAKING NEW GROUND, OPENING THINGS UP FOR PEOPLE TO ACTUALLY FEEL LIKE THEY CAN DO THINGS, ANYTHING, THAT IS SUITABLE FOR THEM TO ACHIEVE
DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU YOU CAN’T DO SOMETHING
BECAUSE THEY DON’T KNOW ANYTHING
There are no limitations to the abilities of human beings, if what we are pursuing is heart felt and interesting.
It's the impossible question to ask yourself. Spirals into doubt and creates genuine fright to your system. Alot of people never know themselves. A lot of people never really want to find out, and that's okay. I have found it my life's mission to understand it, much to the dismay of my own body. The construction of gender has a lot of variants. They are all personal but fit a constructive sentiment within society. Who are you, is a question that is constantly thrown at us everytime we pass someone in the street. If you seem different, feel different you are seen and perceived as different. The plight that comes with this constructs our own perceptions of ourselves. I spend a lot of time looking at myself in the mirror, not to see how good I look, a lot of the time I look shabby, but to see what's really going on inside yourself. And the eyes are the portal to this. We have a vessel. We have a spirit. Not in the religious sense, but we have two separate parts that make one person, you. The vessel carries your spirit. Your spirit is what people respond to. Some people connect via vessels. Some people connect via spirits. Both experiences are different. Society is set up to take the vessel as the first port of contact and we are constantly misrepresenting people as we meet them. We judge before we know, unless the spirit is particularly special. Some people radiate. And this can be down to several factors. Maybe it's to do with knowing yourself. If we know ourselves, and carry it with a happy conviction, why would anyone hurt us or even judge us. Human beings are always radiating feelings back and forth. We think were hard at work, but really were trying to survive our own battle inside. How much you get to know yourself determines how good our lives will be, in terms of simplicity. If we accept a 'normal' view of ourselves we follow a logical route and life is pleasant. If you know me, pleasant is something that makes me uncomfortable. But that's just me, everyone is different. If we begin to explore, and delve and take the time to know and listen what's inside us, then we take a rocky route through life. If we listen to our heart, then we are always ready to be hurt, in every aspect of life. But, we are open to exploration and complete self worth. You never need to impress anyone, because why would we ever aspire to do that. Yes, we can take care in our appearance, that helps too. But we can also, present a truly honest version of ourselves and this is the ultimate happiness. This applies to all of us. I'll just explain what I've found out through this process.
I am shy, I am timid, I am a worrier. I am sensitive and follow my heart not my head. My head usually serves up feelings that link to my heart. Through this sensitivity, I understand what my spirit yearns for, compassion and love. Adventure, excitement, all of these things that we want, that always cost nothing. I always struggled with masculinity, but always knew I was masculine. As kids at school around me were following the latest trends at school, I was skipping and singing les miserables to myself. At a stage when we were still kids. Something faded, into teenage years. Oppression, let's call it that. I was discovering things about myself that I had no way of comprehending, in the situation I was in at school and how life was progressing. It created turmoil within myself. I conformed. From the child who would always insist on wearing a bow tie and waistcoat to Sainsburys, had a bowl cut and said anything that came to mind. I found myself when I was a child but I lost it when I was a teenager. Growing up under a rock, I never really did anything out of the ordinary, played racing games, games of all varieties. Talked about girls at school that we'd never get, and with heinsight the girls we didn't really want. I always knew there was something big to discover about myself. I didn't feel normal and never truly felt accepted amongst people, because I didn't accept myself. Many years have passed. Bad habits enter and my vessel kind of destroys itself internally. But, when I thought I was stuck at open doors, I am beginning to make a step forward. This step was firstly letting people know that I crossdressed from an early age. That was like round one and it took me a while to step into the ring. Round two seems difficult because it's the last round. Just like I said to my mum, when she met someone else, she was reborn, to some degree and liberated from her older life. I am at the second stage. I am growing increasingly frustrated with gender constructions. This statement can be misconstrued. However, I say in terms of how we are expected to present our vessels to people in the street. Men are oppressed by clothing because how those clothes make us feel. We may not even think about it, but men have it easy when it comes to what we wear. It is, however, this simplicity that means that we are always invisible. Because we blend into the blandness of the buildings around us. Women, are under incredible amounts of scrutiny. They are judged by their appearance and are forced into shallow exchanges based on how people see them. This is the way society had gone so far. But both of these are wrong. And it is to do with self expression. How do you feel? What do you want to wear today? These are two questions we all ask ourselves as we get up for our days. For most men, chuck on some trousers and a t shirt. Put on a suit and be professional. For women, they have varied options and can express any feeling they have through their appearance. They are allowed to feel beautiful because society sees them as so. This is why some women do wear baggy clothes to escape calls of insults disguised as compliments from men in the street or wherever they may be headed. This too is wrong. When a man says that he is fed up of being part of societies idea of what you are meant to wear, he is deemed many assumptions. You must want to be a woman, surely, oh no wait, you must not like women. How on earth can you want to dress different if you weren't in these categories? You believe this as some people might mention this to you as you explain. A small amount might I add. People that do this know who they are by this point and they wish society would just catch up. If someone walks down the street looking different, they create fear, and fear leads to anger and a lot of cases, physical actions. Interestingly, someone waking down the street doesn't actually affect them in anyway. How would it? Because I enjoyed the act of dressing a certain way sometimes, I would shave my legs for example. I remember being terrified that someone would find out or notice. But I realised that it makes no difference to their lives. It is hair. It was hot one day, so I wore some running shorts, shorter than normal shorts. I was nervous. I stepped out of the house wondering what would happen. Let's call them, training shorts. Training to build up confidence in a field we cannot really know until we try. How can we know? I was born a man and I am a man. I am a man if I am in a dress or anything that is perceived as feminine. I am just, arguably, a feminine man. I am a man who is sensitive, I feel things, I can't sleep around because I want to hold their hands after, I don't perceive situations in a masculine way, and sometimes I don't feel like looking like a man should. Breaking free from oppression, I don't want to label anything. Why on earth do we need to? I am a man but carry a feminine traits. But these traits should not affect our lives in anyway but a positive sense of self realisation. Why on earth would it be anything else? Material defines us. Perception and judgment defines us. When we step out of judgment, we do things that we never thought we could do. We discover incredible feelings of love and compassion between others. And the only thing that stops us from being happy or falters our mood, is the perception from other people. If it is positive, it is self fulfilling, if it is negative it is damaging. I've had to develop a thick skin because a lot of this happened inside and never left my brain but I knew the outcome and I'll summarise it in one sentence. I am a man, but I enjoy feeling feminine through clothing or behavior, but I am no different now, than when I was seven years old. My interest and compassion for women and how they have shaped my life, drive me as I melt when I fall in love and feel with compassion. Maybe this is something within all of us. Maybe it isn't. Maybe I'm the only one, maybe there are others. But importantly, we are human beings and we can only respond to how we feel. Society betters when society mixes and feels like we can achieve anything in life, because, you literally only live once.
I hope gonz understands
Goodbye, Blue Monday
Life's an adventure People follow you
For a week An hour a year
And we love them
The adventure never stops with your interactions with people. But Life has a way of getting in the way,
And that is money and responsibility. We need both to survive But life will never stop being an adventure
But it's the most challenging adventure well ever experience
Before me is a book, it is printed on a semi gloss paper with a matt finish
it carries a mourning quality plunged into doubt of the future, but excitement for the new.
as we see people evolve and discover their passions and interests we never really anticipate where we will be in 5 years. It is the impossible question.
Goodbye, blue monday
goodbye to the monday mornings, because every day is Monday
Goodbye to the feelings of doubt, relishing in experience, rich with presence of loved ones and new family members.
Goodbye to our past, progressing in the present and heading towards the future.
I realise I am twenty five but I feel fifteen. I feel like I'm seven, roaming around with complete excitement and a zest for life
and like the lemons that are given to us, we create something new
I will always follow you, because I love you, I am fascinated by you, I am fascinated by our experience. I am fascinated with our life, and I want to share this with you.
I imagine that is how they feel as I flick the pages of the self published book.
A man, who I know well, a quiet nature but lives life like a comic book, lives life with an innate curiosity about everything and everything. Quiet but not silent.
Thoughtful, caring and exciting.
The maker behind the work is a friend, a close friend, someone I hold dear.
I know of their life, I sat next to him at work, we even shared a bin.
His stories reveal themselves to me each item I purchase from him.
He has filled my wardrobe with white T shirts. He changed my opinions on fashion, he made me believe I can follow my dreams, whatever they may be. He made it seem possible because he did it, and so can I.
I will follow, like she will follow him, like I will follow him, we are always following. Digital following, manual life following, any kind of following is okay for me.
I imagine him rolling around on 4 wheels, wooden plank secured to his feet. The board wants to follow him and the two go hand in hand. His presence is fulfilling.
We are looking, for something.
Do you want to watch a film? I feel tired after work.
Lets get a dragon? How does that sound?
I hope gonz understands
a paw is lifted up, a smile covers his face. He sets down to draw, to edit, to collage to create. 'fun stuff' he might call it. 'arty stuff', I've heard him say. His being is to enjoy and reflects so many people today, growing up in the generation after our parents. We have all the opportunity.
so follow me, as I delve into depression, lets make it through together.
we are beautiful inside, even if the planet is full of terror.
internal panic, self doubt, losing family, surviving cancer, hugging parents, remembering parents, meeting people, making bonds, remembering, photographing, anything,
anything at all
anything is possible within our lives, and the bad stuff equals the good, but the goodness prevails.
Goodbye, Blue Monday, as I see a friend on a Wednesday, as I run and trip and fall and receive a match box with a number on.
I call it, it is the wrong number, or maybe I wrote it wrong.
I know how it feels. I know how they feel, at times, consistency, adventure,
the ground beneath our feet supports our adventure, where do we go today?
where do you want to be next week?
I love you,
I know they love each other, you can see it.
Goodbye to the past, where is the blue Monday when everyday is a blue Monday. Everyday is another adventure.
I will follow you, you will follow me, you will accept me, and you love me for it.
We can follow each other for a week, hour, day, year, 10 years
nothing is bad and nothing is good,
it is all living
and as a witness, we see the world through his eyes his excitement
an otter exchanges a glance,
he is always there, ready, to capture something of a snippet of life.
It is a collaboration, the way we interact, two quiet souls
doing arty stuff
that's all it ever is
that's how famous artists start
goodbye blue Monday,
goodbye self doubt
i have a record of his life so far,
it is in the form of a book
a self made object funded with passion and creativity
hello, to new horizons,
the past has happened and here is a reflection of how it all felt
Here is a recollection of the past, as we transcend into the future
full of hope
full of excitement
follow me, because i love you
and i always will
even if our adventures prevail to new lands
I hope Gonz understands, that he will be traveling
he will be seeing the world as they voyage around feelings and compassion, drifting off into dreams of reality and imaginary thoughts
I have one question
whens the new ben gore t shirt coming out?
I have had a lot of people ask me about the nature of the site name. La Piña, seems like a jovial response to branding, drinking in the sun and sipping on pineapple juice on the beach. The meaning is quite different from the fruitless nature of modern still life photography. La Piña developed from a photograph taken in Spain. It was a Pineapple that had been crushed by a Mercedes, possibly my favorite combination. From there the idea of what modern photography seems to tackle on the boarding editorial market, it felt like the perfect metaphor to epitomize and discuss the validity and usefulness of such work. It is a metaphor, but nothing to do with bright colours and holiday destinations, but an acute awareness for what photography feels like today. To my mind, we had freshly squeezed orange juice and now we are left with weak squash.
A lot of the above opinions are no longer something I really consider these days. From the early days of being angry about the decline of photographic ideas and excitement I began to relish in art as a whole. This migration to the unknown placed me in my own university environment where I was in control of everything in that circle. I had no deadlines, no one advising me, and the advice I would receive was from my friends, non photographers. In leaving the photography world I managed to claim my creativity back, when I felt like I was constantly repeating the same action, over and over. With this in mind, La Piña has changed it's tone. It has changed its focus and has decided to discuss the broader spectrum. As my own practice evolves, La Piña comes with it. It's original meaning was to challenge cultural trends in photography but it has become an accompaniment to art, to a journey through the unknown. Photography is the base layer, but Illustration, performance art and creative writing seems to be achieving more to my mind. It feels more organic.
A rude awakening
As an aspiring photographer you are left with the promise of expectation when you embark from the university doors, as competitions open up to you like old friends. There is an overwhelming sense of panic, that you have to do everything and anything to get noticed, appreciated and acknowledged. The process of leaving the university gates is different from person to person, some relieved that they can start working as a photographer and the studying no longer gets in the way, or one of panic as you realise the hub of photographers will soon fade thin. So you cling onto it, and your enthusiasm is rekindled with the newcomers, the new faces as you manage to get onto the teaching course – an aspect of the subject you wish to be a part of, but the timing falls right. A unique experience to one person may do nothing to reflect everyone else, but there is a sense of longing and excitement that lives in the year after university. Some may splash into the pool and throw their name everywhere, land on their feet or some might walk around the pool and assess the point at which to jump. Either is daunting for different reasons.
The concept of being a photographer is a hard one to grasp, as there are less public outlets, and more work based on experience roles. There becomes a point where you need to gather more firewood, so to speak, and attempt to rekindle interest in yourself as a creative output. This process is essential, but there is a part you saying you need to do everything and anything, fight like a dog to get that bone (in this case internships etc. are the bone) – all the while you attempt to explain to your parents why you feel the need to work a normal job so you can create things, photographs, articles, publications and events. Everything you do, from the outset of education is always up to you and no one else. This, to my mind, is why the photographer is such a great breed. They develop determination young – and that never dies within them, always attempts to find firewood to make a flame even when the air can be as damp as a gusty night up a mountain.
Aside from making, there is financial support that needs to become priority, and to decide how your going to ‘get by’ is perhaps the hardest decision of all. You need to cut yourself from all ties to promotion at work, as that gets in the way of anything creative – unless your in the right field. You need to ignore higher paid jobs because that’s a ladder you’re not interested in climbing. And if there were a photographic ladder, a stable one, then we would all be jumping for the same grasp of the first step.
When we think about our need to create, it is a process unmotivated by financial reward. Financial implications need to be considered in the production, yet if a project fails to make money, this does not mean the project was a failure. I have always relished in the idea that each project you do, you learn from and this builds you as a person as you begin to explore all your curiosities and passions, slowly becoming a fulfilled individual. Where this passion fits in with regular life, I am not so sure, and I have racked my brains thinking about it for the past year, since leaving the comfortable bed of university as I now approach my rude awakening a year later.
La Piña podcast #2 - Sam Boullier, feelings, friendship & what an artist is
A conversation around the role of the artist, idea progression and how multi media work comes about.
Lines of masculinity
notions of gender inequality
Gender has always had a divide. You are a man. You are a woman. That is down to genetics and genitals. It is clear to see that we are fundamentally different. The notion that men are from mars and women are from Venus is not completely untrue, but it doesn’t explain the whole story. Gender roles cripple us and create expectations when we are younger. The misogyny that arises from such traditional ideas translated into modern life create issues around inequality and how gender is a large factor.
When we are born we are segregated into our genders. That happens the second we are born. We wear blue or pink overalls and are thrown into world of blue or pink, depending on our genetics. This process is something that always happens, it is a normal process. It is only when we gather influences and thoughts and feelings when we begin to actually work out what we are like as human beings. We are most aware when we are young, however we do not retain much information. When adult life hits, we go into our stride as people and fulfill our gender roles and expectations. This was until we began to consider the subject. I have always had a close affiliation with the feminine side of the personality, through growing up with two women through my formative years, I began to realise how women felt at an early age. I rejected a lot of ideas around what was expected of me when I was to enter the said, ‘real world’. It has been a rocky path.
The question I have always asked myself is why can’t men feel beautiful like women are expected to do. Men’s fashion is built around functionality and blending in, we are invisible. We are not flashy, we are not beautiful and only in some cases we are desirable. This suits the male personality but suppresses our feelings and affects our lives and how we look at things. I have always experimented with crossing the gender barriers, but only up until now have mentioned anything about it. Its been done behind closed doors. But the process of accepting the situation has led me to embark upon a social experiment to challenge the role of masculinity. The lines of masculinity are crippling to our need to feel and how we respond to certain situations. Heaven forbid we discuss our feelings we would become exposed. Our role is to stand strong and supportive. But as an artist I find it incredibly hard to ignore the other side of my interests.
I have the desire to feel beautiful and reveal sensitivity and understanding.
My personality is naturally geared towards this process and is needed for me to explore my complete personality. I rejected this part of my personality in exchange for sadness and oppression. But once you open the door to these ideas, they reveal a part of your personality you always knew existed, it was just locked away somewhere, hoping it would crumble to dust.
Gender inequality. Where does all this fit in? It is the process seeing another gender and valuing that person less as a result. It sounds pretty bad and it is. Pay inequality, misogyny; special treatment of women has brought the notion of Feminism. A movement we all know and understand to varying degrees. The idea that we would treat anyone differently, whether that is positive or negative discrimination reduces the value of said gender. It is an unneeded process. We have made leaps and bounds from the earlier years of this issue, but it is far from complete. It is dwelling and concerning and swells up and explodes anger and passion from women across the world. As men, we need to stand up and say no to misogyny, inequality and different treatment based on gender. It is a process we need to eradicate and it needs to happen now.
The process of understanding this idea is to visualise the process of what women look like. How do we identify women? We see beautiful eyes, long wavy hair, different styles, softness and feminine behavior. This is deep rooted within women of course and is natural behavior for them.
The role of ‘Behavioral’ is to imitate this process in front of an audience. Going from a male to the visuals of a woman within a 30minute process. I appear as a woman but I am not a woman, just have some layers applied to my male base layer. Through this process we can see that our perception of women distorts how we treat them due to their feminine layers. In this process of removing the male layer and replacing it with a female sheen, we can see that inequality is actually a redundant idea and needs to be stopped. We are all equal.
Through this process I have discovered the process of being a behavioral artist. Molding into a different character through the process of applying layers. Behavioral aims to highlight that fact that we are all the same when we consider our potential and gender has nothing to do with success. Society has believed this but it is simply not the case. Masculinity, femininity is a process of choice and we can only judge it from individual cases. We are all different when it comes to our personalities and these lines are constantly shifting focus. There is no set way to be anymore and this is what the work will try to highlight.
I do not usually put the year on these articles, however it seems as though it is important in this situation. I met Joe today. He told me about his recent project in Dover and it really hit me how interesting it was to have work that discussed something so fresh in such a visual way. Through using what could be considered 'traditional' methods to record the subject, he went around to democratically ask people how they felt, leading up to the EU Referendum. You don't need me to tell you whats happened, if we have Facebook we cannot seem to escape it, and nor should we. We need our research now.
I am going to mention briefly the strong aesthetic because as though it seems secondary to its meaning, it needs to carry confidence to get out there on particular sites to raise awareness. It is the meaning that counts. The process of discovering what the people of Dover feel towards this countries question and decision is divisive to understanding the nature of a city that is on the border between immigration and traditional town life. I had recently made the trip to Dover, to head to Paris by car. I by passed the Jungle of Calais and headed to run the marathon a couple of months ago. I had no connection to this land until I realised the ramifications of this environment and how it could affect and swing the vote of the referendum. If we discuss some of the points raised from the people that live there, we see that they are on the cusp and have seen their town, deplete. This is down to being ignored, and forgotten about, like an old relic and has become centered around travel. It is a shell of the town it would have been one day. As beautiful as it is, it is still geared towards the border between France. A decision for them would physically affect them. This means their opinions matter and precisely why they reveal a very unique position that most towns will never face.
For the whole article including all images please visit here
politics hijacked a public and personal decision
for those who didn’t believe in their ability to choose
all the stuff they said, doesn’t mean anything
and they have undermined themselves
and politics could take a revolutionary turn
for the positive
because no one believes in politics anymore
and when you stop believing in something,
it slips away
people will never stop believing in the EU
it is something that will never die and if it does
we will make a new unity
its just the way people should be and the way a lot of us naturally are
it all links with happiness
a lot of people are unhappy because they don’t have the necessary requirements to live and money is the cause of that, its not their fault at all
if everyone was happy, and not in the sense that material possessions make you happy, but in the sense of being happy inside, no worries or fears,
why would there be killing
we would all get on and co ordinate
its a spiral effect
bad produces bad, produces bad, produces bad,
start at zero
go back to a clean board
and lets start again
money is the issue
money is the reason for greed
and inequality is born from that
donald trump, britain first and nationalism has been bred into extremism. they provide short term options for our current problems, but offer extremely awful results later on in life and provide a chance to create civil war between civilians who just want to get on, but feel as though they are getting a hard time.
this is down to happiness, if they were kept happy, like the rich, then we can compromise for the best of all people. a neutral government. that oversees the country economically, and conducts things fairly for both sides.
this sounds impossible, but it is completely possible and needs to happen to remove dissatisfaction across the world.
we get the best of both worlds.
human nature is the only thing in the way.
Let's freeze time So we never have to leave that moment It never ends And stays with us forever And forever may it continue Let's freeze time Let's make a clock This clock will allow the moment to never finish No beginning Middle Or end My eyes feel like they have been reset And I'm not looking at the same place anymore The world has transformed Let's hug forever Because we can Because we want to And because it's so easy to do You create a world that doesn't exist but A new world on top of another world That is reality But seems so far removed from what we perceive as life It's fantasy that is reality And that reality Is possible It's unexplainable I never want to go to bed
15 years of self judgement has accumulated to the moment when i finally come clean. The response I received once I publicly put out there that I am a cross dresser, became too overwhelming to keep it all in. I cried 15 years worth of tears. I finally felt like there wasn't anything stopping me. Most importantly, there was no longer me putting a road block in front of my dreams because I judged and hated myself because of what I was.
I can progress on with life now, free, to do anything. I feel as if I have just unlocked the key to life and nothing now can stop me from being the most interesting and caring person I can be. I can begin to actually care about myself emotionally now. Thank you everyone for your overwhelming support.
I hope this can allow others who feel the same to admit the same for their own happiness, so we can raise awareness on this activity that happens a lot more than you think. Society is just built up to not accept it, but the support you showed me, everyone, has shown that in this time of horrible happenings and judgement across the world, in what is deemed normal, something people are dying for every day, to step out of the norm and create this as a norm for everyone to be honest with themselves and lead the happiest lives they can. I can't explain how I feel right now, I will say that I am overwhelmed and honored to have so many brilliant people in my life. I've won the lottery, it seems, and ill share it with every single one of you by being the happiest person I can be. 15 years of sadness and uncertainty has spilled into this. The most important moment of my life. thank you so much everyone. i have infinite amount of love for everyone i know and you all have given me so much hope in my own life. i cant thank you enough.
The cave of forgotten dreams
Nervously shifting towards a girl at the bus stop. I seemed to ignore everyone around her and asked for her number. We were catching a bus to get back. I didn’t want to miss them. I felt something about this group in the process of getting to know each other. I was an outsider but I was all right. They had a kind of coolness I had never come across before. I didn’t really think about what was cool at the time. I had been a young man, aged 18. Fresh from college and hard work, I had seemingly avoided any sense of a social life. Attempting to break into the impenetrable group. I knew I could do it.
I called up a girl who called herself Luxembourg. Riddled with nerves I finally hung out with all of them. Speaking of Ray Mears and how he could set a fire up in 2 hours. Looking up to the building and shouting ‘block cock’. We were immature but brilliant. Something magic was happening. We headed to New York, threw snowballs, fell in the snow, it was a kind of bliss. Others were farting in bottles to trick the other as they groggily woke up. I was on the outside of this.
The time came to set houses. Headed to a new town and continued a kind of haphazard journey. The Dogfield dogs living in a shithole that had rats. Tewkesbury Tigers and the infamous 60 Tewkesbury created the perfect trio of locations. Only one mattered. Headed down the road incredibly excited with stubby beers in hand we would bombard politely into a room. Creating beautiful sounds with two master craftsmen on the vinyl decks. It became like a bit of a competition. Sitting on expensive vinyl boxes and getting told off for it. We were pushing the boundaries of what we were allowed to do. Or at least I was.
People formed, joined together through romantic forces. We became tighter as a family. An unconventional family that accidentally happened through the understanding that we all got each other and we all had our own uses. We were all different but created the perfect blend of chaos, love, experiences and general happiness. Arguing, shouting at each other, we were barbaric but we didn’t care. We were all on the same level.
The process was gradual but long. It felt like a lifetime to peak. There was a sense of going off, as if we had a sell by date, but everyone always bought milk and Jam so we always continued this transaction. It is difficult to put into words how all of this happened. It was such an organic process, experiencing when Gordon Brown lost his crown of the country. We were singing all the way for him to win, Scottish retard, why couldn’t you have been our priminister?
Going up and down the momentum seemed to drift in a kind of perfect transition, developing between sheer chaos and exhaustion. People came and went, jumped
into the group and out of it, but the core stayed true. We were bound and no one could un-stick us. No matter how much we would argue and hate each other in parts. It was like a runaway train that always knew how to deal with it if we crashed, eventually. The love was right between every conversation we had, every joke we shared, every hour we spent watching Lord of the Rings, every time we played street fighter in the kitchen, every time we performed satanic rituals of a plastic baby (which just appeared from nowhere). We were sensible but also a bit stupid when we decided to be. And through all of this, all of the parties, the people, the work we made, the feelings that were hurt, the relationships that ended, the friendships that got pushed it was still one of the most unique friendships we’d ever encountered. We were family. We would argue like family and love like family.
And just like the eventual end to a night, our bodies tire, crash on stairs, other people’s beds, in the arms of another, sometimes three in a bed, we were incredibly close as people. And we loved each other all unconditionally, even when people came and went, people crashed and fell, we all loved each other more than words can say. It is impossible to describe.
They are my second family but I hold their feelings in the highest regard and I love every single one of them.
It was the time of our lives, until they actually started. We will forever drift around in our minds thinking of the cave of forgotten dreams.
If I was told I had a week to live I'd do everything But never feel sad If I was ill I wouldn't panic Because it gives you an excuse to do anything Until you have no more life left
a behavioral artist
someone who imitates the activity of other people. To understand the world through their daily experiences. to provide an insight into people’s lives, struggles, happiness's, sadness, work ethic, passion, love, comfort, pain, ideas, sounds, their sounds, beauty, ugliness, character, ethos, mannerisms, hobbies, enjoyment, woes, worries.
the very sentiment of being a person can be accessed and can create a world where anything is possible. anything at all.
the activity is gender based, but has nothing to do with gender at all. but it is the most important ingredient. when there is a base gender, man, alex, and then the other characters take on any form, within my physical capabilities. not extreme body alterations, like mass muscle growth or genital reassignment etc. the person stays the same as a base layer. within the boundaries of being a man, a human being, and a personality. identity doesn’t shift, it just puts on a new coat in the morning. the base layer always carries the person. i am the base layer, and the rest of the additional things added on, come off from each person that is imitated.
gender is hard to define within the spirit of people. physically we can say that is a woman, that is a man. but personality traits always come through which constitute any feeling. their behavior within their vessel (body), is dictated by the spirit they have. spirit as in personality. their upbringing has a lot to do with all of this, when we were most receptive, as children. we are sculpted by experience.
people are people and we are all the same. variants occur, but we are higher up than boundaries. lets do anything we want because we can. people say you can’t but why not. there's no limit to what the human body can do.
i want to be a behavioral artist
i can be one i believe.
each character is a medium. Alex, photographer, other characters have possibilities to grow from a stem. being the complete human being.
the characters can make me a better person as Alex
i can learn from them and pick and choose certain ethos’s gained through each experience.
This is the second photograph. What I found quite brilliant is the fact that my whole face shape changes just through an adjustment in my head and posture. The head appears different. And this ties into the idea that we never truly see ourselves from the perspectives of other people. We are always looking at a reflected version of oursleves. Our eyes cannot focus on our skin, and see skin. We can only look into glass. This is a fundamental part of living and the ability to see our faces in the flesh is something that we don't have the ability to do. Therefore the only way we can see ourselves is through depiction. And we only see a copied version of ourselves. Never the real thing.
have you ever? (poem)
have you ever felt like someone else?
you know you still exist
but you do not exist at that moment
you are something else
but you still remain
have you ever felt beautiful?
have you ever felt like someone that your not?
have you ever felt attractive?
have you ever felt complete?
have you ever felt like the complete human?
have you ever felt like you can take on anything?
have you ever felt that you can take on anything?
have you ever felt that you constantly weren’t good enough?
have you ever hated yourself?
have you ever felt like an outsider?
have you ever felt sad?
have you ever thought about it?
have you thought about ending this?
have you ever woken up from that nightmare?
have you ever survived something you would never do?
but occasionally feel like its the only choice
hold me close
hold me close
hug with arms
hug with your limbs
love with your hearts
support with your hands and your eyes
have you ever picked up on silences?
have you ever seen someone about to cry?
have you anticipated this
and released your arms to hug
have you ever saved a life?
just by saying, yes
by being there
have you ever felt like you could be someone else?
know that you are you
know that you are everything
have you ever felt like you are complete?
that you get it
that you understand it all
until something new comes up
have you ever finished a to do list?
have you ever felt loved?
have you ever felt complete?
have you ever felt like you can do anything?
have you ever felt that you will no longer ever struggle
because you get it
have you ever felt this?
i think i just have?
have you ever felt happy?
knowing that it will always continue
because you are complete
i think i have