After an invigorating chat with the permanently horizontal Babak, I realised that I just needed to hire out a recording device and get started. I had talked for too long about talking, I simply needed to talk. However, I wish I had recorded the conversation with Babak as it proved very insightful. We discussed the canapés and we talked about how that may or may not have related to my father etc… But we did also discuss the format of the Wilma Talks. We spoke about environments and my prior fixation with the car and its unique space within my mind and how that seems to dictate a rare type of intimacy.

Anyways, this lead to Babak’s suggestion of viewing the conversations in a similar way that a painter might view the canvas. If I add this location, what happens to the composition, If I add this amount of time what happens to the negative space, If I change the parameters, how does this affect each conversation? We spoke about not repeating a ‘composition’ for at least the first  20 experiments which I found extremely exciting and liberating. I had found myself thinking about it in a very prescribed way before I had even begun, however, this conversation acted as the kick up the arse that I needed – it worked. That night I arranged for Will and I to go to the pub (The Grosvenor) to run the first trial…

As a first experiment it taught me a lot and it seemed to function similar to that of a three act play. The first was a warm up, dabbling in and out of personal and practice. The second was focused much more of our current concerns about our practices and the third was unrecorded. We ended up having a very profound conversation that Im glad wasn’t captured on the recording. I feel that I stayed within the moment of the conversation which had been a concern of mine, however, with the aid of alcohol it made it pretty easy to forget the microphone was even there. Its given me different aspects I want to explore, sobriety, structured questions, engaging with a complete lack of insight into someone both artistically and personally and exploring what can come from that… a whole range of things. It was a great first trial and It felt right that it was with Will in a place we were both comfortable and a settling hat has housed that type of conversation before.

The second was with Brian in the staff office, this was much more of a pragmatic conversation relating to Brian/Dawn, Mark Lungley and Wilma’s collaboration for the upcoming MA show. The biggest learning curve of this conversation was to make sure there is enough storage space available before beginning any conversation….I’ve learnt the hard way and I was only able to capture 25 minutes of that conversation which perhaps lasted 40. I feel that most of it was captured, in terms of the nitty gritty but still…it was a school boy error.

I have reached out to a few artists in the studio about having conversations over the coming weeks and the reaction seems positive. I’ll just try to catch people when we’re either already within a conversation or they have the time to go for a walk, visit a gallery or slip off to the park. Either way, I think there’s more talking to be done.


Matthew Weir