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Interview

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Interview astronomy prodigy until I was thirteen, then puberty kicked in and I completely dropped in science and school, and almost failed a class. Then there was this weird interest in Culture Club in London and dressing up, and music, but that was not considered high music or serious art at all. So I could experiment with whatever medium I wanted to in my teens and, in a way, not have it taken seriously by the world around me. AA

It protected you in a way.

WT Yes. Very few people did, and I’m very grateful to them. But, so did the music. Then this musical partner, this friend Bert left town and it was just over with no warning really. And then I never picked up the courage again and found the context that I’m in now. The pictures, the photocopies, became more important and I sort of moved behind the camera and away from the performative, but there really was a very performative impulse in me in my teens. Singing, speaking, writing, dressing up, taking pictures of myself or my friends. And we were in a dance company in the school, in the local school and that’s i­nterestingly how this performative somehow came back again. I mean, I was surprised last year by how naturally this release of music was taken, accepted by the audience. AA

WT And so yeah, this tank of course has its unique architectural feature of thirty metre circular space. There was a little bit of video as well, and we did the performance there. It’s a format that I think I will move more into. And also then I started collaborating with London musician Oscar Powell. I felt after this year of self-publishing this has to move more into, like, real music. AA

Doing it at a more serious level?

WT Yes. The Beyeler show, which will be open by the time that this interview comes out, that’s like the real challenge. Having the Tate exhibition was such an almost cathartic experience, you know, exposing of myself.

Well I think culturally you’re so embedded. I mean there’s a kind of aura of cultural and counter-cultural content in your work and in your life, so music feels like a very natural movement for you.

All images © Mark Peckmezian, courtesy Webber Represents

AA BRONSON (b. 1947, CA) has been a fixture of the art world since cofounding the artists group General Idea in 1969. From early on in his career, Bronson expressed ­diverse interests, and worked as an artist, publisher, writer, and ­curator. After the untimely deaths of his two General Idea partners Jorge Zontal and Felix Partz in 1994, Bronson began his career as a solo artist. Bronson frequently explores emotional, socio-political and cultural issues in his work. He currently lives and works in Berlin as a guest of the DAAD Berliner Kunstlerprogramm, and his work can be found in many museum collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Gallery of Canada, and MoMA.

WOLFGANG TILLMANS (b. 1968, DE) is an internationally acclaimed fine art photographer with a lengthy and distinguished career. Tillmans’ work is wide-ranging and inquisitive, spanning numerous visual genres, styles, and subjects. Among his accomplishments, in 2000 Tillmans was both the first photographer and the first non-British person to be awarded the prestigious Turner Prize. Throughout his career, ­Tillmans has remained dedicated to the idea that photography plays an important social role. He currently lives and works between Berlin and London, while his work can be found across the world in collections like The Met, MoMA, Guggenheim, and Tate Modern.

MARK PECKMEZIAN (b. 1985, CA) has carved out a name for himself in fine art, editorial, portraiture, and fashion photo­graphy. Since graduating with his BFA in photography from Ryerson University, ­Toronto in 2010, Peckmezian has shot for a diverse array of publications and clients including COS, Dazed, Double, Document, Fantastic Man, Hermès, Isabel Marant, New York Times Magazine, The New Y­orker, Stella McCartney, and ­Victoria Beckham. Peckmezian has a preference for the print medium for his photography, thus most of his works can be found in photobooks and magazines. He recently relocated from Brooklyn, New York to Berlin, Germany.

WT Yes. And now I did this installation at the Tate, South Tank. And that was like a complete departure. It was a time-based light and sound and video installation. It ended up being a hundred minutes long… an assembly of audio files that come from six different sources, but all mine. So it was a really uneven surprisingly interesting sequence of sounds to which we used twenty fully moveable computer controlled lights that we programmed in the week before with a lighting engineer. He was fantastic because he was super capable but not too proud to actually put his craft, his skills at my service. AA

That’s essential.


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