Distant Clinical Entity
28 July - 20 August 2017
Caspar Heinemann was born in London in 1994
They studied at Goldsmiths, University of London
Caspar currently lives and works in Berlin
A conversation between Beatie Fox and Caspar Heinemann, Outpost Gallery, 27 July 2017
Beatie Fox: I want to ask you about the crop circle drawings, what drew you to them first of all and why you chose these specific sites.
Caspar Heinemann: Crop circles kept coming up in my reading because I was reading a lot of esoteric new agey synchronicity stuff. I was interested in crop circles because it was the moment when I would roll my eyes, or it felt like the kind of hard limit in my belief, or the thing that ruptured everything else. And then I was having a conversation with my friend Francesca Lisette who’s a poet and astrologer, and also my astrologer, and they told me that I needed to develop a kind of transformative Scorpio daily practice, and so I have been drawing crop circles every day. I was interested in this relationship between mental health and artistic production and what it means to develop an obsessive practice. In terms of crop circles, I think specifically something about the relationship between being against basic subsistence in the way that they’re formed in crops and kind of this frivolous decorative thing, and that relationship between, I don’t know, physical survival and spiritual survival. And then the locations are arbitrary mostly; they’re all in the UK and crop circles tend to be found in specific areas, so there are some areas that turn up a lot, but I was mostly drawing the ones I felt drawn to.
BF: It seems very much like the materials in the show are things that you can come across in daily life – like there’s no distance there, it feels like there’s quite an intimate conversation. And these reconstructions happening through the objects on the floor, not only with the materials from the product that was sold but also I love that it’s using the packaging, the construction around it. There’s something about that reimagining, it makes you realise how prescriptive the written elements that go alongside those are, you know - you need to put the left wing on after the tail, create the object in this specific way for the thousands of products made. What brought you to this particular object?
CH: I was interested in making them incorrectly, I don’t know - I’m interested in it as quite a kind of naïve utopian gesture I guess, so I was thinking a lot about some radical movements in the 60s and 70s - I guess the Abbie Hoffman levitating the Pentagon thing and this idea about what it would mean to change matter, and this view of activism or radical change as a kind of magical practice, and the element of alchemy in that, and the ‘as above, so below’ microcosm. They are all based on actual military aircraft, so it’s in some way this hopeful gesture about what it could mean to try, and that those things could be something else, or this idea that everything could potentially be something else or other somehow. And I often get quite, I don’t know - I think one of the things that can feel quite depressing about trying to attempt social change or radical change is how fucked everything is now and that’s what we’ve got to work with, and so trying to be like, maybe it’s ok, but that’s what we’ve got to work with, and these legacies of violence and war are also going to shape whatever happens next.
BF: And it’s interesting that you’ve used the poster format for the written pieces, it feels like there’s a real urgency, in that sense, in the way they’re represented. There’s a lot of honesty and humour within them that brings you close, and at the same time you have the history of the poster, really getting the message out to the public.
CH: Yeah. I’m interested in playing with this idea of being really didactic, and being really instructive, militant, but doing that in a way where it’s also slightly absurd or it’d be hard for someone to actually reduce it to a cohesive position, even though there are lots of positions contained within it. And there’s definitely some kind of – obliqueness is not exactly the right word, but I guess in terms of the objects in the space and how they might relate to each other, I don’t think that that’s made particularly evident especially in terms of the text and how that relates to everything else and I’m interested in leaving that difficulty.