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#13



Simon Liddiment was born in Gt Yarmouth 1964.
He studied at Gt Yarmouth School of Art and Design 1980 - 82
and Goldsmiths College, London 1982 - 85.
He lives and works in London and East Anglia.












Installation of Threshold (FALLOW), Cullum Line

The double doors that comprise the entrance to the gallery space are wedged open by a word ('FALLOW') written on the gallery floor in road marking paint and jutting out into the lobby. On the far wall a black rectangle is hung at half the common height. On closer inspection it can be seen to be a three dimensional Union Jack carved with divots. An immaculately constructed plinth is painted the same colour as the gallery floor and has a shadow line echoing that of the gallery walls. Upon it are stacked 2 bundles of 500 postcards that were individually posted to the gallery. Each bundle carries a photographic reproduction of half the artist's face, divided horizontally, with the upper section sitting at 90 degrees to the lower. On another wall, a large digital print shows a silhouette of the artist's head devoid of any interior detail. To the right is a drawing of a sheet of ruled paper with the lines reconfigured. On the remaining wall a paper mask is studded with corks over the stubble area.


A discussion between Kaavous Clayton and Simon Liddiment at Outpost on 30 October 2005.

Kaavous Clayton: With the careful consideration you have put into the production of your flier and the press release that focused solely upon it, it feels as if your exhibition has already begun without the gallery. This seems to tie in well with the fact that there is a hole in the flier where the exhibition will be and also a sort of mental hole where the exhibition title normally is as you have decided to have no title. Are these all things you considered when designing your flier?

Simon Liddiment: More a case of one step at a time, the need for a flyer, what could it do. It seemed obvious to me to think my way around the given elements of a show at OUTPOST.

KC: There was also an aspect of the flier that was both self-serving and giving: by promoting the location of the gallery you have made it easier for people to find your exhibition but a by-product of that is that they will know where the gallery is in the future. Thanks. Were there any signals or clues you were trying to provide for people via the flier?

SL: Well as I said, I wanted the page to do 'something else' and that's fairly consistent with the way I think about the work in general, but certainly I was aware that the gallery's location could be better known.

KC: I was trying to get you to say 'less is more' but I guess that's not going to happen so maybe you could tell me a bit about your interest in hair instead.

SL: So now you're looking for 'a little goes a long way' perhaps?

KC: That's very good, but I'm meant to be the comedian here. I was referring to your large black hole of a head that focuses attention upon it's periphery, rather like your flier does with it's hole. And also your paper mask with the cork hairs. I guess your flippant comment hints at an anti-vanity, is that right?

SL: No, I was just being flippant, but the use of my own image is just the 'standard issue' starting point, of ready made or ready found.

KC: And where are you taking that ready made?

SL: With the works you mention I doubt I'm taking it far, more likely treading water with some thoughts about different channels of information occupying the same space.

KC: How about the postcard piece? Having 1000 postcards sent to the gallery, travelling as bits of mail and then being reconstructed to become a work of art creates a sort of exploded self-portrait. What does the action of the work travelling courtesy of Royal Mail do to the piece?

SL: That's to do with a long-standing affection for the post card and the notion of correspondence, but also I'm thinking about the slightly slap stick resolution of image with object.

KC: We seem to have been concentrating on the more obviously self-referential pieces. Can we move on to the word on the floor. What does 'FALLOW' mean within its linking to road marking paint and the gallery floor?

SL: It starts with the formal enjoyment of tripping over messages in the street, and then it's an awkward word and an awkward choice, but any word would be in this context, like the ponderous one word titles that I think of as being popular with sculptors, Domain, Lair, Field, etc.

KC: And could you say something about the 'black Jack'. I know that it is constructed using a method of wood carving that American hobos or folk artists were fond of. How do you think the use of this construction method, the fact that you've hung it at 'half-mast' and its blackness alter it as an icon or symbol?

SL: The flying at half-mast seems like the internal logic of the piece, and occurs without an up front plan. It's not important to me that a viewer would know about any particular idiom that the work would seem to quote, but I do think it looks a bit folky, and I'm amused by it as a sideways go at wood carving. As for its loaded status, I'm happy to be fairly irresponsible about that, though it interests me to think of it as a very tired symbol, but then I had a composition problem and wanted a geometric starting point.

KC: And finally, what is your favourite colour?

SL: Is that your punchline?

KC: No, this is.

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