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studio and of course Gustav Metzger, the Viennese Actionists and Banksy would represent this development, which has ironically come full circle in so far as the landscape once dominated by the gallery or showroom has been joined by project space and public space, to say nothing of virtual space, as the realms of contemporary art. Speaking of seduction or oppression though is pertinent, in so far as there is a visceral, motor-sensory dimension to the practice of painting. I tried to explore this in the 1990s. My abysmal failure and decision not to keep any work from that period was simply the result of dissatisfaction with its end products and an understanding that painting was a sort of safety valve for my unstable personality at the time. So process was the key. Nevertheless the idea of being a painter, encrusted as it was with the mythology that has been talked about, still persisted, which was the point at which I began to build 3-D works from the rubble (as it were) or more precisely the paraphernalia of artist stretcher bars or bits of frame and so on (see image of Faggot [1999]), leaving behind once and for all the desire for (and business of) representation and replacing it with a new series of constructed works that either used found material or relied upon subtle manipulations of the parergon, and often hinted at a lost, hidden picture or a fantasy that never came true. Thus was born the theme of the artwork as a plaque for a painting that was aborted or unrealized, what I call Post-Peinture. In a way these kinds of exercises hearken back to some of the paintings made by Mel Ramsden in the late 1960s and early 70s or the heroic phase of Conceptual Art, sometimes characterised by Art & Language as Modernism’s “nervous breakdown”. CT: The work that Michael showed in the ‘Scagliola’ show seemed to take on painting obliquely, through negation and through the absence of the referent. Peter’s work, on other hand, deals directly with painting’s history through a maximalist remixing of an excess of painterly references. Neither strategy would have been possible before the late 20th-Century expansion of the conceptual field of painting and sculpture. The disciplines with the longest histories have always needed to be killed-off in order to be expanded and that’s part of their dialectic character. So it seems to me that part of the seduction of painting (or at least the logic of its appeal) is actually bound up with the perennial or cyclical so-called “Death of Painting”. What could be sexier than being in a perpetual state of dying? MH: You could be onto something there, because presumably Thanatos will be yoked to Eros in your mind; endless reinvention. But I do think that painters

Stimulus Respond - Binary  
Stimulus Respond - Binary  

The Binary issue of Stimulus Respond, November 2010.