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Interview

April 19, 2006

Martin Creed

Shiraz Randeria interviews artist and musician Martin Creed, one of the six judges (along with Jake & Dinos Chapman, Cornelia Parker, Yinka Shonibare, and Gillian Wearing) of this year's Beck's Futures prize, about the competition, his own work, and his move to the Italian island of Alicudi.

AK:  Are you happy being a Beck's Futures judge this year? Is it a lot of responsibility?
MC:  Yes, I am happy. No, I don't think it is a lot of responsibility. There are many judges, and anyway, competitions aren't important.
AK:  What is the process of judging? Do you all talk/argue in one room after having seen all the work, locking the door until you come to a unanimous decision?
MC:  The process feels self-conscious: one of trying to look, think, and feel. Hopefully getting a feeling, which goes to a decision, but often not. I don't know.
AK:  This year the work is on view in three different locations: the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, and the Arnolfini in Bristol. Will you see the work in all three venues?
MC:  I think I will only see the show in London. I think it's a good idea to have different venues.
AK:  Do you think the competition should also be turned on its head, so that the artists could judge the judges' art as well?
MC:  Sure, I wouldn't mind that at all. Everyone judges everything most of the time anyway.
AK:  How would you spend the £20,000 first prize award if you were an artist just starting out?
MC:  On work and living and eating and all things.
AK:  You've now moved away from London, making a home on the sparsely inhabited mountain-island of Alicudi. They are two very different habitats. Why did you decide on such a remote location?
MC:  I saw it in a film ( Dear Diary by Nanni Moretti), went there on holiday, and liked it a lot. It is a paradise prison wonder island. It's nice and small. I like London a lot, too. It is nice and big.
AK:  How much time to you spend in each place?
MC:  Lately I have been a lot more in London, working on things.
AK:  What are your thoughts on the current art scene in London?
MC:  I don't know.
AK:  What new work are you working on now?
MC:  I have been working on a film of people being sick.
AK:  What can we expect at your forthcoming show at Fondazione Nicola Trussardi in Milan?
MC:  I don't know. I kind of like making the decisions as late as possible, until I start feeling really scared. That seems to make it easier.
AK:  How does your music relate to your other art? Which are you enjoying more right now?
MC:  When I'm doing music work I want to do visual work, and when I'm doing visual work I want to do music work. For me they are more or less the same, in both being things I try to do. I like them both. I like listening to music when I'm making things, and I like looking at things when I'm playing music.

Beck's Futures 2006 is on view at the ICA in London, the CCA in Glasgow, and the Arnolfini in Bristol through May 14. Martin Creed's work is on view in the 4th Berlin Biennial through May 28, and his exhibition at Fondazione Nicola Trussardi in Milan opens May 16.

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