Put Her In That Box
I don’t need to label myself, but it’s a useful thing for other people who are editing, who are arranging or organizing, thinking, “Oh, we can put her in that box or not that box.” So, I mean I don’t have an MA, for example. I applied to Chelsea twice to do the MA there, which is a calendar year, it’s a real year, not an academic year, and the reason I wanted to do it was — because at that point having finished at Goldsmiths I had some questions or some areas that I felt like I really wanted to focus on, and I was making these objects at that point that I was photographing — having to photograph them just because you have to photograph things to document your work to show people that you’ve done stuff, because you can’t carry it all around with you, and in the process of documenting them, I set up these quite theatrical — the way that I framed them in terms of the photography.1
So, the space around the object became larger or more important. So, when I went to the interviews at Chelsea, they couldn’t decide if I was a sculptor, by which I think they meant a more classical object maker or if I was an installation artist. Who was going to work more with environment, and I — both times I went, there was one woman that was on both of the interviews. So, the first time I was told that they rejected me, because they didn’t know if I did sculpture or installation, and they had, kind of in their mind, kind of decided they needed a certain number of people that did this and a certain number of people that did this, and if people started moving around, it fucked up their space allocation, bureaucratic, you know. As now I’m working at the university, I understand these kind of banal, weird qualifiers that we put around things in terms of trying to organize something.
So, I didn’t get in, because I didn’t know if I was making sculptures or I didn’t know if I was making installation.2 To me that was part of why I was going there, not to ultimately answer that question, but to be able to work through with these objects that I was making and thinking about, I mean space and how I — kind of how I install them. So, that was kind of why I wanted to go. And then obviously I was in Freeze, then all of this other stuff started happening. So, when I went back the second year, I thought, “Okay, I have to be really positive.” So, I went in there and I was really positive. I’m like I’m doing this and I’m doing that, and blah, blah, blah. And then Judith said to me, “Well, you just talked yourself out of it. You went in there, and you were really didn’t sound like you needed to go.” So, I was just like, “Oh, fuck it, okay.”