Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Kit Poulson Interview

Kit Poulson uses site-specific installation, text, sound and live performance techniques to explore the colliding themes of perception and memory. With exhibitions in Cincinnati, London, and a Wheatley Fellow artist-in-residence at Birmingham under his belt, Kit talks to jotta about his aspirations and getting bottled off stage

Tell us your background:

I was born in Suffolk in the same village as John Constable, although I didn't really know much about art then. I went to artschool when I was 28, it was a fantastic transforming experience though I have been pretty skint ever since.

What themes do your installations explore?

The construction of a sense of life from the various collisions and convergences of perception and memory.

Do you actively participate in your performance pieces?

Yes I always participate in my own performances. I view these pieces as a process of thought, and generating work through setting up parameters in which this can be enacted, an examination of thought as a physical activity. I frequently collaborate in performances, and this sense of conversation is very important to me. It feels very different from acting in that there is no adoption of character or separation from the audience. In the past I have worked in the theatre and have once been bottled off stage doing a comedy cabaret.

What kind of settings would you like to see your work displayed?

I love being able to organize a gallery space, building subtle adjustments which shift how viewers approach works. I also love popping up in odd spaces and playing with the existing atmosphere.

Which medium do you prefer to work in?

I started out as a painter, and a painting sensibility seems to be at the root of many of the other things I do. I am very interested in planes and surfaces. But drawing always feels like pure pleasure... and I love woodwork. In general I think I enjoy it all. I also think it is important to constantly examine your own abilities, so as not to simply repeat techniques which have an easy charm, but which in the long run can be limiting.

What are your career aspirations?

Survival, respect, and some money! Spending more time on constellations of works which blend a variety of media. It would be fantastic to have more organizational backup. Create larger performance pieces which combine a constructed environment with text and sound work. I have been working with Alex Baker to adapt and re-stage some Russian Futurist opera. I love stage sets- I think it would be great to do a set and costumes for an old fashioned pantomime, with transformation scenes and all.

What are you currently working on?

Brutalist architecture and Ice cream. Singing tower blocks. Sugar spikes and porridge building.

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